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Minnesota GOP senators propose mental health initiatives

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Republicans said Wednesday they will advance a package of mental health initiatives that would boost funding for treatment facilities and services, long-term housing and more accessible counseling for school students and farm families.

The four main bills in the package would:

  • Provide $30 million in bonding funds to create six new mental health crisis centers around the state to assess and treat people with mental illnesses or chemical abuses disorders.
  • Issue $50 million in housing bonds to provide supportive housing for those who need longer stays to get back on their feet.
  • Allocate $5 million for telemedicine services that link school mental health programs with psychologists and other outside professionals to serve growing needs of students.
  • Offer $100,000 in grants for counseling for farm families and businesses.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said the measures are part of Republicans’ “caring for people” program that also includes funding to make schools safer.