October 26, 2023, Introduced by Reps. Bruck, Miller, Rheingans, Martus, MacDonell, Price, Glanville, DeBoer, Mentzer, Bezotte, Wozniak, Hill, Koleszar, Schmaltz, Edwards, Coffia, Tsernoglou, Arbit and Brenda Carter and referred to the Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security.

A bill to amend 1967 PA 150, entitled

"Michigan military act,"

(MCL 32.501 to 32.851) by adding section 321.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 321. (1) The department shall develop a program called the Michigan azimuth bridge program that has the primary mission of helping service members and veterans identify and support their mental health and well-being needs through traditional and nontraditional means. The director of the office of mental health and suicide prevention within the Michigan veterans affairs agency shall oversee and supervise the program.

(2) The department shall develop the program in conjunction with a nonprofit organization that has the primary mission of providing a holistic, individualized approach to mental health and well-being through traditional and nontraditional means. The department may also work with any additional nonprofit organizations, state agencies, or commercial entities that the department considers necessary for the successful design and launch of the program.

(3) The department shall contract with a nonprofit organization to operate the program, with the goal of enrolling transitioning service members in the program by not later than 2 months before the date of each transitioning service member's separation or retirement from military service. The program must be offered in not fewer than 4 sessions per year, but may be offered more frequently if it is considered necessary by the department.

(4) The program must include, but is not limited to, information on all of the following:

(a) Warning signs for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse and addiction.

(b) Traditional mental health treatment resources offered to veterans.

(c) Alternative treatment options offered by federally licensed research centers.

(d) Additional alternative forms of treatment.

(e) Mental health and substance abuse screenings conducted under the county veteran service officer training program created in section 3b of 1953 PA 192, MCL 35.623b.

(f) Bridging the divide between military and civilian life and finding purpose in civilian life.

(5) Any transitioning service member of the Armed Forces of the United States or any commissioned officer of the other uniformed services who is a transitioning service member is eligible to participate in the program at the request of that member or commissioned officer.

(6) The department shall conduct outreach to offer the program to all members of the Michigan National Guard who are transitioning service members.

(7) As used in this section:

(a) "Armed Forces of the United States" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components.

(b) "Department" means the department of military and veterans affairs.

(c) "Other uniformed services" means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

(d) "Program" means the Michigan azimuth bridge program created in subsection (1).

(e) "Transitioning service member" means an individual who is exiting military service into civilian life.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect unless all of the following bills of the 102nd Legislature are enacted into law:

(a) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5276 (request no. 03396'23).

(b) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5278 (request no. 04208'23).

(c) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5277 (request no. 04674'23).

(d) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5279 (request no. 04675'23).