Nearly 1,000 local, state and justice system leaders gather for first mental health summit

Gov. Eric Holcomb, left, and Chief Justice Loretta Rush, center, speak with Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), right, before the start of the 2022 Indiana Mental Health Summit -Brandon Smith/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb, left, and Chief Justice Loretta Rush, center, speak with Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), right, before the start of the 2022 Indiana Mental Health Summit .

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Nearly 1,000 people gathered in Indianapolis on Friday for what Chief Justice Loretta Rush called a sign of hope for the state — Indiana’s first mental health summit.

The event, hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court, brought together the three branches of government, leaders from all sectors of the justice system and representatives from all 92 counties.

In launching the summit, Rush said all too often that the criminal justice system is the first line of mental health care — something it’s not designed to do. And she said reparation requires a comprehensive approach from the state.

“We will work to make available in every Indiana community a continuum of behavioral health programs, services and alternatives to keep people with mental illness out of the criminal justice system,” Rush said.

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This will require more funding. And Gov. Eric Holcomb said providing more support for behavioral and mental health services is a priority.

“Indeed, they end up costing us dearly if we don’t take care of them,” Holcomb said.

Republican legislative leaders have also called mental health funding a priority ahead of the next budget session.


Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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