On April 13, 2023, as the Senate Appropriations Committee revealed their proposed budget for 2024-2025, faith leaders across the state responded to the failure to fund SB 1, the mental health crisis response bill. Despite SB 1 passing the Senate 49-0, and currently supported with 57 co-sponsors in the House, the Senate budget included only $35 million over 2 years for mental health funding, falling significantly short of the $130 million required annually to fund the crisis response system according to the Behavioral Health Commission report.
The following statement was released by Pastor Matt Landry, Senior Pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church and a leader with Faith in Indiana:
“Our faith teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to care for those in need. That’s why over the past year, we’ve united an unprecedented coalition of faith leaders, law enforcement, and mental health care providers from rural to urban Indiana to speak out with a united voice: fully-fund SB 1 and ensure everyone in crisis has a number to call, someone to come, and a safe place to go. If SB 1 isn’t funded, it’s like a shiny car with no engine.”
“We want funding, not nice words. As faith leaders, we are deeply saddened and disappointed by the Senate budget that fails to fully fund SB 1, which would build a crisis response system in Indiana that would save countless lives.
“We call on Sen. Ryan Mishler to immediately meet with leaders from Faith in Indiana to discuss the full funding required to ensure all Hoosiers get help when they are in crisis, so we can have safe and caring communities.”
Rabbi Len Zukrow from Northwest Indiana’s Interfaith Action Network remarked:
“Funding of SB1 is an opportunity to be holy in service of our fellow human beings who happen to be in need of mental and spiritual care. Any member of a faith community, any one who claims to be spiritual has to see the value in such a command.
The task is not great, we are not called upon to go over the mountain or cross the sea. We are calling on the legislature to fund this bill to help us all be closer to the divine as we act rather than stand idly by.”
Find the rest of Rabbi Zukrow’s powerful statement on NWI Interfaith Action Network Facebook page.