Thank you to everyone who made the 2022 Day on the Hill a success! The Mental Health Legislative Network (MHLN) hosted the day with over 100 meetings between legislators and constituents advocating for building the mental health system in Minnesota. The day began with virtual kick-off featuring messages from Governor Walz, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller. MHLN members then outlined important policy issues that are moving at the capitol this year including building the mental health workforce, investing in affordable housing, funding our community mental health services and crisis response system, addressing the crisis in our children's mental health system, and creating solutions to divert and better serve people with mental illness in the criminal legal system. 

Several other legislators also spoke at the kick-off event. "This year, more than ever, we have heard about the needs of mental health. And it is in every sector, profession, population around the state. Ask any legislator, we hear over and over the increasing needs in our communities. And perhaps it's because of COVID, but mental health needs were critical before that also," said Sen. Julie Rosen from Fairmont and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Other speakers included Rep. Peter Fischer (43A, Maplewood), Sen. Paul Utke (02, Park Rapids in NW MN), Sen. Rich Draheim (20, Madison Lake, New Prague, Le Center), and Rep. Samantha Vang (40B, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park). 

If you weren't able to attend the Day on the Hill, you can watch the kick-off event here. It's never too late to contact your legislators and advocate for them to become mental health champions at the capitol. Thank you to Shannah Mulvihill from Mental Health Minnesota for leading the coordination of the day with the MHLN! We know you made a huge impact this year and we're looking forward to carrying this momentum forward through the session and getting these important issues across the finish line.