New State Budgets Include Broad Range of Mental Health Funding

Original article by U-M Department of Psychiatry

Mental health services across Michigan will receive a major funding boost, thanks to items included in the general and education budgets passed through bipartisan cooperation in the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

One $6 million budget item will directly support mental health care at University of Michigan Health, by funding part of the cost of creating space and additional staffing in the emergency department at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital that can be used to care for children and teens experiencing a mental health crisis. Currently, such patients receive care at the main Psychiatric Emergency Services area in University Hospital. Some of the funding will support the development of a partial hospitalization program for younger patients, expanding the age range beyond that served by the adult program.

The education budget includes $50 million to support the TRAILS to Wellness program as it expands to serve more schools across the state with mental health training and support. TRAILS, which began at U-M, recently transitioned to a new status outside the university but retains ties to U-M. Read more about the funding for TRAILS and its transition.

The education budget also includes additional funding for school-based health clinics such as those run by the Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools, which is part of U-M Health. Such clinics offer the full spectrum of primary care including mental and behavioral health.

Beyond U-M, the new budget includes $214-per-pupil funding for mental health and school safety for every public district, and funds construction of a new state psychiatric hospital complex that will replace the Hawthorn Center and Walter Reuther Hospital and increase patient capacity. The budget also includes funds to expand behavioral health capacity at existing facilities and offers student loan reimbursement for behavioral health providers in Michigan.