Skip to main content

Franken bill would beef up mental health counseling

  • Author:
  • Updated:

U.S. Sen. Al Franken is sponsoring a bill that would boost federal mental health programs.

Franken's says strengthening mental health counseling in schools and prisons would improve public safety in America. He says studies show a majority of the country's prison inmates have mental health problems. His bill would support mental health courts that steer criminals who are mentally ill toward treatment.

Franken introduced the bill at an appearance in Duluth. He emphasized the need for counseling in schools and said adding mental health professionals would do more to improve school safety than arming teachers would.

Other provisions in the bill would fund training of police in how to work with mentally ill citizens and would expand treatment courts for veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress, depression, or addiction.

Franken puts the cost of the changes at about $40 million. He says a Florida Republican, Richard Nugent, will introduce a companion bill in the House.

Next Up

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.


Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.


Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.


Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Al Franken wants Trump to back up promise on mental health

The former Minnesota senator has been drawn into the Florida shooting debate.