Local faith leaders pressure politicians to address mental health

By Ronnie Das | WSBT 22

Community leaders united to address mental health resources in the state. The St. Joseph County Chapter of Faith in Indiana is lobbying for a statewide crisis response system.

The local organization doesn’t think mental health resources should be a life. Organizers hope the event will be the first step in holding political candidates accountable for mental health resources.

In a press release, Faith in Indiana says State Senator Linda Rogers (R) and Representative Maureen Bauer (D) pledged to champion legislation in the 2023 Budget session to secure dedicated revenue for a robust crisis response system across Indiana.

“Most of us want to live in a community, an Indiana, where everyone is healthy, safe, and can thrive,” declared Pastor Claval Hunter, Faith in Indiana pastor of Berean Seventh Day Adventist Church, which hosted the assembly “Today, Senator Rodgers and Representative Bauers pledged to do their part and champion dedicated funding in the 2023 budget session for a robust crisis response system, so our families can get help, not handcuffs.”

Organizers say at the Town Hall, the South Bend Mayor’s Chief of Staff announced Mayor James Mueller already allocated $5.8 million toward “County Partnerships for Homelessness and Mental Health,” which will include a crisis response center and a low-barrier intake center. This follows the decision of the St. Joseph County Council to approve nearly $3 million at the end of last year to build a crisis response center, a core component of the crisis continuum, after months of conversation with Faith in Indiana leaders and the jail diversion task force which included Sheriff Redman, Health Officer Bob Einterz, Oaklawn, and Beacon Health System, among others.

“At a time when some politicians are using racial division to pit neighbor against neighbor, to line the pockets of the wealthy few, our community is coming together to fund our families lives,” explains Anne Crafton Fatih in Indiana Leader with First United Methodist Church “Today we have shown when we come together, we can build a better Indiana for future generations.”

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