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Bill to create Michigan mental health hotline is approved

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Michigan is poised to create a permanent statewide mental health hotline under legislation that going to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The House passed the bill 101-7 Tuesday.

The telephone referral system would be available 24 hours a day, seven days of week and would refer people experiencing a mental health crisis to service providers. A spending law approved in 2018 included $3 million to develop, operate and maintain a hotline pilot program.

The new legislation is intended as a way to expand that program statewide, which could cost the state between $1 million and $2.5 million more annually. Supporters say the hotline would help those who do not know where to turn — potentially keeping families together and saving lives. A spokeswoman for Whitmer said the bill was under review.

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