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.
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.
23rd District State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr.
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
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
Representative Tom Cochran, Mason, 67th District
Southern Ingham County
Representative Andy Schor, 68th District, Lansing
Representative Sam Singh, 69th District, East Lansing
Most of East Lansing, Okemos, and northeast Ingham County:
Representative Tom Barrett, 71st District, Potterville,
Most of Eaton County
Representative Mike Callton, 87th District, Nashville
Representative Tom Leonard, Speaker of the House, DeWitt Township, Clinton County, 93rd District
Find Your Legislators:
350 Losing Mental Health Services at CMH
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:
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.