Gov. Walz signs mental health package into law

(ABC 6 News) – Thursday, Governor Walz signed the omnibus mental health budget bill into law, investing $60 million in the state’s mental health system which will increase hospital bed capacity, attract new mental health care professionals, and expand the use of mobile crisis units.

This bill also includes $30 million in creating an improved system to better serve those involved in the criminal justice system who are found not competent to stand trial.

“Everyone deserves access to the mental health care that fits their needs, when they need it,” said Governor Walz. “This omnibus bill is a bipartisan investment in the infrastructure of mental health services across the state so we can better reach young people and adults who may be experiencing crisis, as well as support the mental health providers working hard to address these needs. While this bill is a good step, there is more work to be done to ensure children and adults have access to the mental health services they need.”

Chapter 99, HF2725, allows hospitals to increase mental health bed capacity across the state and allocates a total of $92.7 million in funding for a variety of mental health initiatives, including:

  • $30 million to establish competency restoration services to better address the needs of individuals involved in the criminal justice system found not competent to stand trial;
  • Nearly $13 million to support children and youth experiencing mental health crises, as well as provisions to establish a first episode of psychosis grant program and to set parameters for children’s residential facilities to provide crisis stabilization for children and youth for up to 30 days;
  • Nearly $11 million over three years in adult mental health initiative services;
  • $9.6 million for mobile mental health crisis services; and
  • $4.1 million to fund grants and loan forgiveness opportunities for mental health professionals and providers.