UPDATE: Legislature passes mental health hotline

Published: Jan. 14, 2020 at 2:46 PM EST
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The Michigan legislature has passed a bill to create a statewide mental health hotline.

It now goes to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's desk, where she is expected to sign it.

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.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.