Senate approves end-of-year budget bill that includes $100,000 Runestad request to support mental health services for the Oxford High School community

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday approved an end-of-year budget bill that includes a $100,000 request from Sen. Jim Runestad to support mental health services for students, teachers, parents, administrators and first responders in the Oxford High School community.

“The tragedy that took place at Oxford High School on Nov. 30 changed the lives of many teens, teachers and families in ways that those of us on the outside looking in can never fully imagine or understand,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “We must make sure mental health services and resources are available to help those who will unpack the impact of that day for many months and years to come.”

The budget supplemental, known as House Bill 4398, would allocate $100,000 in funding to Common Ground, an established 501(c)(3) organization that has provided supportive mental health care to youth, adults, and families living in the Oxford school district. Common Ground is the largest provider of mental health crisis services in Oakland County, offering 24-hour crisis services to more than 80,000 people each year.

“We cannot ignore the importance of mental health care and must all do our part to encourage those around us to seek help if they need it — and support them when they do,” Runestad said. “It is often observed that hurting people end up hurting others. I feel strongly that encouraging, seeking and engaging with quality care for our mental health is vitally important to help not only heal ourselves, but also our communities.”