Granholm Receives Mental Health Commission Report

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

October 25, 2004

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm formally accepted the Michigan’s Mental Health Commission’s final report today during a meeting with members in Lansing.

Final Report: Part 1; Part 2.

“Members of the Mental Health Commission have tirelessly worked over the course of the last 10 months to create a new vision for supporting citizens with mental illness in our state,” Granholm said. “I deeply appreciate their efforts and am anxious to review the Commission’s vision to restructure Michigan’s mental health system.”

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski said her department will review the Commission's report and present an implementation plan for the recommendations to the Governor sometime soon.

"The work of the Commission is absolutely vital as we focus on delivering high quality mental health services to the citizens of Michigan," Olszewski said. "The report is a wonderful starting point toward a better destination for people with mental illness."

Some of the substantive recommendations from the commission include:

· Continue to use state resources to support best practice and evidence-based research

· Identify children with disabilities and risk factors proactively in education and health care environments

· Increase recipient rights protection by strengthening accountability

· Convene leaders from both the private and public sectors to develop and launch a public education campaign for mental illness awareness

· Develop uniform guidelines for determining eligibility for mental health services

· Integrate mental health treatment with physical health

· Actively involve individuals with developmental disabilities, individuals with mental illness, and children with emotional disturbance by requiring community mental health boards to have adequate representation from these groups

“The Commission specifically authored its final report to the Governor to include both short-term strategies to improve the quality of care, as well as solutions that will benefit generations of Michigan’s citizens,” said Patrick Babcock, Mental Health Commission Chairman.

The Commission’s work was driven by seven key goals to transform Michigan’s mental health system, including:

· The public knows that mental illness and emotional disturbance are treatable, recovery is possible, and people with mental illness lead productive lives

· The public mental health system will define clearly those persons it will serve and will address the needs of those persons at the earliest time possible

· A full array of high-quality mental health treatment, services, and supports is accessible to improve the quality of life for individuals with mental illness and their families

· No one enters the juvenile and criminal justice systems because of inadequate mental health care

· Michigan’s mental health system is structured and funded so that high-quality care is delivered effectively and efficiently by accountable providers.

· Recovery is supported by access to integrated mental and physical health care, and housing, education, and employment services

· Consumers and families are actively involved in service planning, delivery, and monitoring at all level of the public mental health system.

A final copy of the report is available at www.michigan.gov/mentalhealth.