Arizona legislation seeks to help mentally ill find homes

Published: Mar. 29, 2016 at 11:08 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 31, 2016 at 11:12 PM MST
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ARIZONA (Tucson News Now) - Arizona is on the forefront of legislation to help people with mental illnesses.

Last year, our state passed a bill with a goal to help the mental ill find housing.

[SLIDESHOW: 15 fast facts about mental health in America]

HB 2488 created a trust fund to be used solely for housing projects and rental assistance for people with mental illness.

Like with any serious illness, it's difficult to deal with mental illness and get treatment if you don't have a place to call your own. NAMI said the lack of safe and affordable housing is "one of the most powerful barriers to recovery."

Arizona is one of only 12 states that increased its mental health funding from 2013 to 2015, according to a report from NAMI.

HB 2488 should be a model for all states to follow, according to NAMI.

As the legislation just passed, no one knows yet how well it is going to work.

The Arizona Department of Health Services will release its first annual report on the status of the program on Thursday, Sept. 1. KOLD News 13 will return to this story and report on how the program is faring.

NAMI has several suggestions on how to find a home for a person with a mental illness HERE. A list of housing resources available in Arizona is available HERE.

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