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Senate committee advances mental health clinics bill, but strips out funding

A bill to bolster mental health care access and services across Indiana unanimously cleared a Senate committee Thursday – but without any funding included.

The legislation, SB 1, originally included $30 million for community mental health clinics. In a rare move, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch testified on the bill. She said its importance goes beyond policy – access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment is personal for so many Hoosier families, including hers.

“My sister Nancy died by suicide in her early 20s. We just buried my brother Larry in November – he was an alcoholic," Crouch said. "Our daughter, Courtney, is 12 years sober and bipolar.”

READ MORE: Senate Republicans outline 2023 agenda, including health, public safety and business tax savings

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The bill is also intended to help fund the 988 mental health crisis hotline. Jodie Moser said her brother could’ve used something like that. He was killed by police in Florida during a mental health crisis.

“He dealt with a lot of anger management, a lot of depression," Moser said "He abused alcohol. But none of those things should’ve been a death sentence for my brother.”

A Senate committee stripped out the $30 million. Instead, funding will be part of the state budget debate.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.