In January 2017,  Michigan House Speaker Rep Tom Leonard, Clinton County, set up a task force to determine what is needed in mental health called the House C.A.R.E.S.  (Community Access Resources Education Safety) Task Force.   The task force had several meetings throughout the state as well as a website anyone could make suggestions.               


Below are their recommendations.   Call your state representative and ask them to follow up on the recommendation that matters to you.

1. Give CMH priority to Foster Children

2. Explore a Pilot of Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team for Parents

3. Provide Mental Health Training to Teachers and Counselors to recognize symptoms of mental illness

4. Increase the number of psychiatric beds for children

5. Increase support for Michigan veterans

6. Encourage opportunities to connect veterans to prividers

7. Improve Services for Crime Victims

8. Encourage the Use of Crime Victim advocates

9. Support Canine Advocates for Victims

10. Expand the use of Telehealth Care

11. Make Services more efficient for patients with mild or moderate mental health needs

12. Capture more funds for substance abuse services and programs

13. Simplify dispute resolutions for Consumers and Families by adding mediation

14. Require CMH to prioritize for individuals with mental illness

15. Provide Crisis Intervention Training and Resources to Law Enforcement (Thanks to NAMI board for establishing a program in our Tri County area! )

16. Encourage EMT Training to Identify and Respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness (Some here have been trained. )

17. Continue to Fund 911 Registration Programs to allow families to register persons with special needs.

18. Address the shortage of Case Managers and Social Workers

19. Provide Incentives for Mental Health Professionals to work in Michigan

20. Implement Universal Credentialing for all insurance plans

21. Streamline Recipient Rights Offices

22. Provide wrap around services and peer support

23. Offer more options for mental health or regional crisis stabilization units

24. Seek Collaborative Efforts to Increase Access

25. Encourage providers to have additional beds for mental health

26. Create a database for available mental health services

27. Create Michigan CARES hotline

28. Create opportunities for intermediate and long-term care

29. Support and expand Michigan problem-solving courts

30. Expand diversion and deferral programs for veterans and individuals with mental health or substance abuse

31. Authorize restitution and diversion programs

32. Reduce pre-trial incarceration of low-risk individuals with substance abuse or mental health issues

33. Address the backlog of cases at State forensic center

34. Increase judicial discretion in Sentencing for veterans

35. Promote early intervention in our mental health system

36. Ask congress to allow Medicaid coverage during incarceration

37. Require the use of a mental health screening in all jails at intake

38. Expand custody options for prisoners with severe mental illness and increase options of care for parolees who suffer from mental illness

39. Increase meaningful rehabilitation efforts in prison

40. Expand the vivitrol program in the Department of Corrections

41. Increase continuity from incarceration to the community

42. Eliminate barriers to work