Mental Health service bill under consideration

A bill sponsored by State Rep. Aaron Miller to more equally appropriate funds for county mental-health services has received the support of four St. Joseph County Community Mental Health officials before the House Committee on Appropriations.
House Bill 5118 changes the way the state calculates its contribution for services provided by Community Mental Health Service Programs, basing the funds on county demographics, unemployment rates and poverty rates, Miller said.
The current formula for funding is based on a historical model that is about 50 years old, and not fair, Miller said.
Testifying in support of the measure was Elizabeth O’Dell, chief executive officer of Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County. She testified in detail regarding the state funds her facility receives, saying it is far less than other counties while the challenges St. Joseph County faces sometimes exceed those in areas that get higher funding.
The committee took the issue under consideration.

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