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Mental health funding bill draws broad support at Maine State House [Video]

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AUGUSTA — A $17.5 million plan to expand Maine’s mental health and crisis response services won broad support Monday from hospitals, mental health care providers and advocates for suicide prevention and victims of domestic violence.

The proposal from House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, would increase investments in mobile mental health crisis units, create at least six additional mental health crisis receiving centers across the state, expand access to medication management services, and create a violence prevention office during a public hearing Monday.

No one spoke against the bill Monday and calls for investments in mental health have drawn bipartisan support in the wake of the mass shooting in Lewiston last fall that killed 18 people and wounded 13. The same is not expected to be true in the coming days when lawmakers hold public hearings on several new gun safety proposals also introduced in response to the mass shooting.

Advocates stressed Monday that people who experience mental health issues or disabilities are more likely to …

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