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Indiana Legislative Session 2023

Indiana Mental Health News & Updates

4.28.2023 | End of Session 2023 Issue

Service Spotlight

Looking for continuing education in mental health or addiction? Explore over 100 different training courses through The Mental Health America of Indiana SWD Training Institute!

Individuals can access the Be Well Crisis Helpline by dialing 2-1-1, entering their zip code, and following the prompts for the Be Well Crisis Helpline to reach one of our Crisis Specialists.

Once connected with a Crisis Specialist, information will be collected such as a first name, return phone number (in case the call is dropped), and zip code the call is coming from (to better help identify resources).

Service Spotlight

Looking for mental health services? Schedule an appointment with Mental Health America of Indiana Treatment Services here: Mental Health America of Indiana Treatment Services

End of Session Newsletter

2023 Legislative Session

Dear Advocates,

When history writes of the behavioral health system in Indiana, 2023 may very well be a year of demarcation.  Not since the federal Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963, have we had the opportunity to significantly improve the mental health infrastructure in this State.  As a result of the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission’s recommendations, the Indiana General Assembly passed SEA 1 and HEA 1006, enabling the creation of a new model of service provision.  This includes the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), a 988 Crisis Service continuum, and the ability to provide treatment in lieu of incarceration. Mental health advocates owe a debt of thanks to Senator Mike Crider, Representative Ann Vermilion, Representative Greg Steuerwald, and many others as well.   


As we know, Indiana does not fare well in national mental health rankings, as we are currently listed 42nd among the 50 states.  To some degree, that ranking is based on our historical lack of commitment to funding—so the message this Session has been that Indiana requires full, long-term, sustainable funding.  While HEA 1001 did appropriate $100M to SEA 1 for the biennium, advocates pushed for a surcharge on carriers as permitted by Congress as the preferred method to provide sustainable funding--though we were similarly supportive of an increase in the cigarette and/or alcohol tax.  In this, we were not successful.  One can certainly have conflicting emotions—on the one hand, the emphasis and focus on the mental health of Hoosiers this Session has been refreshing, and frankly, long overdue.  On the other hand, the lack of a method for full, long-term, sustainable funding means that an evidence-based behavioral health infrastructure is still not guaranteed for Hoosiers and their ability to benefit from such an infrastructure remains in question. 


Without the funding that we fought for, our reach remains more limited.  Still, we remain committed to providing high quality outcomes to the extent funding is made available.  We find ourselves not at a destination, but rather, in a new direction.  With SEA 1, we have the opportunity to move forward with a CCBHC model and a Crisis Service continuum in an effort to build an infrastructure that will last the test of time.   Clearly, this will take a great deal of collaboration among stakeholders, including legislators, the executive branch, providers, advocates, families, and consumers.  With the funding made available, we can build on pilot sites to demonstrate their efficacy and cost-effectiveness--as we continue to make the case for full, long-term, sustainable funding.   


The need for the advocacy effort we started this Session remains.  The need for full and sustainable funding through a surcharge, cigarette tax, or alcohol tax remains.  The need to build and maintain a behavioral health infrastructure remains.   


The passage of SEA 1 is a huge accomplishment, but it is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new direction in the history of behavioral health treatment in Indiana. 

As always, stay safe and be well.

Stephen C. McCaffrey, JD

President and CEO

Mental Health America of Indiana

What is Happening at the Indiana Statehouse:

Below are key bills that have been passed this session:

Behavioral Health Matters (SEA 1):

With the support of the Governor, legislative leadership, and of course, all of the mental health advocates across the state, behavioral health legislation has become a priority this year.

Senate Bill 1 will require the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to establish and maintain the 9-8-8 help line. It will also allow for the continuation of the Be Well Crisis Helpline. Significantly, it will build out Indiana's behavioral health infrastructure through the expansion of CCBHCs. The bill also reestablishes the Indiana behavioral health commission and changes the commission membership to eight (8) members.

Click Here to read SEA 1

Public Safety Training (HEA 1321):

MHAI supports access for public safety officers and law enforcement to receive training that addresses their mental health and wellness. HEA 1321 requires the executive training program to include training in mental health and wellness and suicide prevention of law enforcement officers. The bill allows the mental health and wellness training to be provided online or by other means of virtual instruction.

Click Here to read HEA 1321

Mental Health Programs (HEA 1006):

Indiana does not have a system designed to specifically meet the needs of behavioral health crisis other than Emergency Departments. HEA 1006 specifies the circumstances under which a person may be involuntarily committed to a facility for mental health services and specifies that these services are medically necessary. The bill also establishes a local mental health referral program to provide mental health treatment for individuals who have been arrested.

Click Here to read HEA 1006

Professional Counselors Licensure Compact (SEA 160): SEA 160 requires the behavioral health and human services licensing board to administer the professional counselors licensure compact. The bill allows a counselor in their home state to practice via telehealth in a compact member state. This expands workforce availability and will help employers reach more patients.

Click Here to read SEA 160

To view the full list of passed legislation this session, please click HERE!

Thank you to the over 1500 advocates who participated in sending a message to their

What is Happening at Mental Health America of Indiana:
Register today for the Indiana Mental Health and Addiction Conference
Join us on June 27 and 28, 2023, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for the inaugural Indiana Mental Health and Addiction Conference, hosted by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, in partnership with Mental Health America of Indiana.
The two-day conference, presented by Bowen Center, will convene addiction and mental health professionals, recovery organizations, healthcare providers, justice system leaders, state and local officials, researchers, and more to learn about cutting-edge and innovative programs and initiatives in prevention, treatment and recovery happening in Indiana.
For more information, including registration and sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

We are pleased to present the 2023 Mental Health Awareness Month website. For information on what's going on this May, click here:

Thank you to all for selling out Hoosier Idol 2023! We look forward to seeing you next year.

Congratulations to the Hamilton House Dems for WINNING Hoosier Idol 2023!

Event photo galleries will be posted HERE

As the authors of Senate Enrolled Act 1, State Senator Mike Crider and State Representative Ann Vermilion were awarded the 2023 Legislator of the Year Award on April 5th, 2023. Indiana is better for the work they have championed throughout the 2023 Legislative Session. The Indiana Behavioral Health sector stands ready for change. #hoosieridol2023 #mentalhealth #mentalhealthadvocacy

Thank You For Supporting Our Mission!
For every dollar raised, Mental Health America of Indiana is able to continue to serve Hoosiers living with mental health conditions and addiction disorders. We hope that you consider giving to our cause and thank you for your support in the fight for victory over mental illness for all!
Thank you to our Annual Sponsors!
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