Nearly 1,000 local, state and justice system leaders gather for first Mental Health Summit
Nearly 1,000 people met in Indianapolis Friday for what Chief Justice Loretta Rush called a sign of hope for the state – the first Indiana Mental Health Summit.
The event, organized by the Indiana Supreme Court, brought together all three branches of government, leaders from every sector of the justice system and representatives from all 92 counties.
Kicking off the summit, Rush said too often, the criminal justice system is the first path of mental health care – which it’s not designed to be. And she said fixing that requires an all-hands-on-deck approach from the state.
“We will work to make available in every Indiana community a continuum of behavioral health programs, services and alternatives to prevent individuals with mental health illness from ever entering the criminal justice system,” Rush said.
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That will require greater funding. And Gov. Eric Holcomb said providing more support for behavioral and mental health services is a priority.
“In effect, they end up costing us if we don’t tend to them,” Holcomb said.
Republican legislative leaders also called mental health funding a priority ahead of the upcoming budget session.