Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signs legislation improving mental health treatment options in Michigan

Kevin's Law bill signing

Bill gives residents access to care before a crisis occurs  

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Michiganders facing mental health issues will now have access to intervention and treatment earlier thanks to legislation signed today by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

“One of the untold tragedies of mental illness is when someone’s health and safety is at risk, they can lose the most important things in their life,” Calley said. “Through early intervention and assisted outpatient treatment options, we are helping provide support around those suffering to restore their capacity for independence. The availability of more treatment options will help address the root cause of the problem while also reducing many avoidable law enforcement situations.”

House Bill 4674, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Leonard, expands the availability of assisted outpatient mental health treatment aimed to prevent a person from becoming a danger to themselves or others.

The bill updates Kevin’s Law, which intended to provide access to alternative methods of treatment other than hospitalization, allowing a person’s impaired judgement to be a treatment factor, instead of only their behavior.

Under the legislation, a family member will now be able to petition for treatment earlier, which can prevent a crisis from occurring. Updating Kevin’s Law was a recommendation of the Mental Health Diversion Council, chaired by Calley, which works to divert Michiganders with mental health and disability issues from our criminal justice system.

The bill is now Public Act 320 of 2016.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.

For more information on this and other legislation, please visit www.legislature.mi.gov.

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