Your Voice Made a Difference

Thanks to your calls, letters and emails, we made substantial gains this Legislative Session, taking great strides in building our mental health system. NAMI will have a full summary of every relevant provision for mental health in the next two weeks, but here are the key investments and policy changes affecting people with mental illnesses.

Health and Human Services

  • Kept the Provider Tax with a slight decrease to 1.8%
  • Funding to sustain Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)
  • Funding for Intensive Children’s Mental Health Treatment and 150 new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTFs) beds
  • NAMI Policy language to better enforce mental health parity
  • Funding increase for school-linked mental health services – $1.21M next two years and $9.6M the following biennium along with expansion of who can apply for grants, what grant funding can be used for and an analysis of the program going forward
  • Funding for youth-shelter linked mental health treatment – $250,000 a year
  • Funding for the child welfare training academy
  • Making it easier to enroll in TEFRA through MNSure
  • Reducing TEFRA fees
  • Funding for Safe Harbour for sexually exploited youth
  • Major increase in funding for suicide prevention -$5.6M the first biennium and $7.46M the second biennium
  • Increasing MFIP by $100 a month
  • Decrease the spenddown under MA for people with disabilities in 2022 so it’s 100% of the poverty guidelines instead of 81%
  • Increasing timely access to substance use disorder treatment
  • Increasing funding for FASD grants
  • Additional funding for mobile mental health crisis services – $2.5 next two years and $9.793 the following biennium
  • Funding for the specialized community supervision project
  • Increase bed capacity in state operated services
  • Funding for the competency restoration task force
  • Funding to address county disputes with discharges from state operated services and requiring a report on the number of days someone spends in a state operated program when they don’t need that level of care
  • Expanding Medical Assistance to all children in foster care
  • Funding for the tobacco quitline
  • Addresses the issue of travel time for mental health professionals
  • Incorporating changes to behavioral health homes
  • Allowing jails to share names of people who screened positive on a mental health screen to county social services
  • Requiring plans to cover PANDAS
  • Strengthening oversight of network adequacy waivers building on language passed several years ago by NAMI to require plans to demonstrate what actions they are taking to ensure network adequacy
  • Allows for prescriptions to be refilled in an emergency situation for chronic conditions (could help with mental health medications)
  • Establishing Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

This 649 page bill contains so much of what we all advocated for this session. It doesn’t contain everything – such as a ban on conversion therapy, some supportive housing funding, and other items, but all in all it’s a good bill for the mental health community.

Education

  • Major funding increase for special education.
  • NAMI Policy language to provide mental health curriculum for school health classes.
  • Funding to partially cover a suicide prevention training for teachers and other school personnel
  • Requiring screening for dyslexia
  • Allowing for an IEP meeting on a specific item that is disputed instead of a conciliation conference

Public Safety

  • NAMI Policy language to reform the use of solitary confinement. Read an article about it here.
  • Funding to restart the Ombudsperson for Corrections
  • Funding to hire 67 new correctional officers in the coming biennium and 78 officers in the following biennium
  • Salary increase for public defenders and funding for more attorneys and staff.
  • Including $1M courts need to complete additional psychological exams for people who may not be competent to stand trial
  • Funding for treatment courts
  • Funding for police training
  • Funding for JDAI

Housing/Employment

  • Funding increase for the Bridges Housing Voucher for adults with a serious mental illness.
  • One-time funding for Individual Placements and Supports (IPS), an employment program for adults with a serious and persistent mental illness.
  • One-time funding increase for Emergency Homeless Shelters.

Higher Education

  • Funding for mental health professionals to co-locate at community and technical colleges to provide mental health treatment to students.

Agriculture

  • Funding for farmer’s mental health

As always, there remains a great deal of work to be done, but we should be proud of the our advocacy efforts this session. With a limited budget target, we were still able to fund major mental health priorities and advance key NAMI policy priorities like mental health parity and solitary confinement reform. This could not have happened without you – your calls, emails and letters MADE A DIFFERENCE! Thank you! And now be sure to thank your representative and senator!