Friday, May 22, 2020
Since 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) has recognized May as Mental Health Month.
All of us can experience challenges that can affect our mental health, and one in five people will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. This month, it is important to recognize these facts and know what resources are available to you and your loved ones.
MHA has compiled a list of resources on their website including information on identifying and understanding your feelings, creating healthy routines, connecting with others and much more.
Recently, Gov. Holcomb also announced a new website, BeWellIndiana.org, to provide free mental health services to Hoosiers. The site is designed to help with the increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site helps address first-time issues as well as pre-existing mental health concerns and will continue to evolve into a universal mental health resource in the future.
Additionally, there were a number of new laws passed during the 2020 legislative session to expand mental health services in Indiana.
Senate Enrolled Act 246 will require schools to have a connection to a community mental health center or provider certified or licensed by the state to provide mental services to students in order for the school to be eligible for a grant from the Indiana secured school fund.
Senate Enrolled Act 206 defines the procedures for depositions of any victims of a sex crime who are 16 years of age or younger. The goal of this legislation is to help protect a child victim by putting protections in place to minimize the re-living of their traumatic experience.
Senate Enrolled Act 146 will allow victims of sexual assault to have a victim advocate or social worker made available to them before a forensic medical exam or an interview with a law enforcement officer or defense attorney. The advocate will help to alleviate the fears of the sexual assault victim so they may better understand the procedure and their rights.
To see legislation pertaining to mental health and other topics, visit iga.in.gov.