Advocacy

 May 2017 Update:

Advocacy needed this month! Ask your Michigan legislators (listed below) to support the publicly funded community mental health system. Language needs to be included in the budget to support the recommendations of the Sec. 298 workgroup which held extensive hearings on the community mental health system. Some legislators want to shift control of Medicaid funds for mental health from the community mental health system to the privately run Medicaid health plans by 2020. Read more about this issue here.

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A phone call, email, or letter to your legislator can work wonders.

Mid-Michigan’s State Legislators, 2017-2018

Here is a list of our local legislators or see “Find Your Legislators” below to find the elected officials for your address.

State Senate

23rd District State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr.
373-1734; senchertel@senate.michigan.gov
Senator Curtis Hertel Jr.
PO Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909
Represents most of Ingham Co. except the NE quarter.

24th District State Senator Rick Jones
373-3447; senrjones@senate..michigan.gov
Senator Rick Jones
PO Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909
Represents Eaton, Clinton, NE Ingham, and Shiawassee Counties

Michigan House of Representatives
Mail for all State Representatives goes to:
PO Box 30014 Lansing MI 48909

Representative Brett Roberts, Eaton Township, 65th District
373-1775; brettroberts@house.mi.gov

Representative Tom Cochran, Mason, 67th District
Southern Ingham County
373-0853; tomcochran@house.mi.gov

Representative Andy Schor, 68th District, Lansing
373-0826; andyschor@house.mi.gov

Representative Sam Singh, 69th District, East Lansing
Most of East Lansing, Okemos, and northeast Ingham County:
373-1786; samsingh@house.mi.gov

Lansing and Northern Ingham Co.: Please use look-up link.  Might be Representative Andy Schor, Representative Cochran or Representative Singh (see links above).

Representative Tom Barrett, 71st District, Potterville,
Most of Eaton County
373-0853; tombarrett@house.mi.gov

Southeast Eaton County and areas around Charlotte: Please use look-up link. Might be Representative Tom Barrett (link above) or Representative Brett Roberts.

Representative Mike Callton, 87th District, Nashville
373-0842; mikecallton@house.mi.gov

Representative Tom Leonard, Speaker of the House, DeWitt Township, Clinton County, 93rd District
373-1778; tomleonard@house.mi.gov

Find Your Legislators:

Find your State Senator

Find your State Representative

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate

Michigan State Senate

Michigan House of Representatives

CIT Training Continues

The second session of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training was held April 17- 21, 2017 here in Lansing and another 41 police officers and other first responders were trained.  This means that now the Tri-County community has 81 police officers and first responders trained – the first group was trained in December 2016.   This 40 hour curriculum is designed to equip first responders, corrections and dispatcher personnel with skills and information that will maximize problem solving capability with persons in mental, emotional, and co-occurring substance use crisis that reduces violent outcomes and saves lives. CIT international recommends agencies train 20-25% of personnel in CIT which increases potential for trained personnel to be working when crisis intervention is needed. The Tri-County CIT is well on the way to work toward that goal with a third training scheduled for June 5-9, 2017.  NAMI Lansing is an integral part of the Tri-County Crisis Intervention Team Steering Committee.
To find out more about Tri-County CIT or to make a donation:  Visit link.

 

350 Losing Mental Health Services at CMH

View the video and read the article at WILX.  October 2, 2015

Clinton, Eaton, Ingham Community Mental Health Authority is dismissing about 350 people from mental health care due to funding reductions. In almost all cases, CMH is limiting its services only to those with Medicaid. This is causing disruptive cuts in services to persons with mental illness. The people dismissed from care are those who are:

  • On Medicare (or Medicare plus private insurance): Medicare and private insurance do not cover many CMH services such as case management, which can involve a combination of therapy and other practical social work supports. (Dual eligibles with Medicare and Medicaid are not affected.)
  • In Medicaid Spend-down: Some people are required to pay hundreds of dollars a month to qualify for Medicaid. This is not feasible for those too ill to work and with limited income. CMH will no longer help cover the treatment of this group.
  • Uninsured and Not Eligible for Medicaid

CMH staff say that these service reductions are due to a shortage of state general fund money for mental health services. Most of CMH’s funding is through the Medicaid program. This fund source has increased due to Medicaid expansion, but it can only be used for persons on Medicaid. CMH patients who do not qualify for Medicaid, including those with Medicare (who are not dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid), are losing CMH services.

These reductions are putting severe pressure on persons with mental illness, the Carefree Clinic which has been asked to absorb many of there patients, and family practice doctors who may have limited experience prescribing for patients with severe mental illness. This group will lose access to services that help maintain maintain people in housing and effective medical interventions such as group therapy, medication management, and nurse visits.

The CMH staff has tried to mitigate the impact of these cuts and connect people with alternative care, but these are very disruptive cuts that interrupt treatment and jeopardize the mental health of some of our most vulnerable people.

Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending (CAPPS)

CAPPS has published a detailed proposal to safely reduce the number of Michigan prison beds by 10,000 in 5 years.  You can read the report on ways to reduce prison beds here. Part of their proposal is justice reinvestment of the savings from fewer prisoners in preventive measures such as improved mental health treatment. Almost 20% of Michigan prisoners have severe mental illness.

Problem Solving Courts

Mental Health Courts, Veteran Courts, and Sobriety Courts have been studied as a way of diverting people from jail. The Michigan Supreme Court released an evaluation of these courts on April 16, 2015:

Michigan’s Problem Solving Courts: Solving Problems, Saving Lives

Advocacy Info from The Mental Health Association in Michigan

The Mental Health Association in Michigan follows national and Michigan issues on their News and Public Policy page.

Michigan Citizens for Prison Reform

This group advocates for humane treatment of all prisoners, including those with mental illness. Visit their website.


NAMI National follows national mental health issues

Visit the NAMI Public Policy page for current information.

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