Did you know? One in five Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Since 1949, May has been a month dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental illness in the United States. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Life with a Mental Illness.” Mental Health America is asking individuals to share their experiences through words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #MentalIllnessFeelsLike.

With more than 75 percent of repeat offenders facing some sort of addiction or mental health issue, it is crucial that we find ways to get those individuals the help that they need. House Republicans supported legislation in the 2016 session to reduce recidivism in Indiana’s judicial system by encouraging collaboration between the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, probation departments, community correction agencies and all local criminal justice agencies that receive any funding from the Department of Correction (DOC) for community supervision of adult offenders. The new law will allow the DOC to provide additional grants to county jails to implement evidence-based mental health and addiction forensic treatment services. Counties will also establish and operate pretrial release programs, diversion programs, community corrections programs and court supervised recidivism programs.

House Republicans also supported legislation to allow advanced practice nurses or addiction counselors to bill Medicaid for mental health or addiction services. The goal is to provide more flexibility when treating these disorders and increase the number of mental health professionals in Indiana.

To learn more about mental illness, warning signs and treatment options, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.