Whitmer signs bills that will help improve access to mental health services

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a coronavirus briefing in Lansing on Feb. 4, 2021. (Courtesy Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — On June 8, 2021, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 4043 and 4044 into legislation, meaning that those calling the Michigan Crisis and Access Line (MiCAL) will now have access to information on the availability of psychiatric beds.

According to a press release from Governor Whitmer, MiCAL serves as a crisis line available to anyone in the state in need of crisis response services. The crisis line is staffed 24/7, and provides Michigan residents with crisis services, Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans, among other things.

“Mental health is key to maintaining one’s overall health,” saidWhitmer. “I’m proud to sign these bipartisan bills that build on the successful rollout of the Michigan Crisis and Access Line earlier this year, further improving access to mental health services.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

House Bill 4043 specifically requires the Mental Health Code to require MDHHS to provide the entity that operates MiCAL with information on the electronic inpatient psychiatric bed registry.

House Bill 4044 changes the Mental Health Code to allow MDHHS to work alongside MiCAL to provide the most accurate provider information possible. Additionally, the MiCAL contractor must let callers know that electronic inpatient psychiatric bed registry data could potentially be inaccurate, and that bed availability is not guaranteed.

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