Across Michigan, our friends and neighbors are struggling to access the mental health resources they need. Instead of social workers or peers who have experience with mental health problems themselves, they’re often met in their moment of greatest need by law enforcement without the tools or training to help.
In fact, nearly a quarter of people who are booked into jail in Michigan are experiencing mental illness, and in rural counties, it’s more than one-third.
This puts our law enforcement officers in difficult positions and takes them away from the job they signed up to do – keeping us safe and pursuing real crime.
At the same time, it fails to help our fellow Michiganders when they need it most and makes it even harder for them to get back on the right track, take care of their families, and contribute to our communities.
However, the Michigan Behavioral Health Diversion Grant Fund will set aside money for local communities to form voluntary partnerships between mental health professionals and law enforcement, scale up existing efforts to get people back on their feet and position our state as a leader in the nation all while saving taxpayers money in the long run.
Urge your lawmakers to enact smart on crime, soft on taxpayers’ solutions by supporting the Michigan Behavioral Health Diversion Grant Fund!