Michigan State Officials Host Mental Health Listening Virtual Tour

MARQUETTE, Michigan (WLUC) –

Last night, Representatives Sara Cambensy from the 109th District of State House and Felicia Brabec from the 55th District of State House, along with various psychologists focused on the UP for the Democrats of the Mental Health Listening Tour of the United States. Michigan.

The conference focused on the current state of the UP mental health network.

“This is our goal and this is our goal: how do we create the system, how do we make things better? », Asked the representative Brabec to the panel discussion.

“The things that work, how do we keep them the same and make sure they work the way we want them to, and what are the opportunities for us to grow in terms of what we offer in our public system?” “

Representative Brabec asked the panel serving the region what the UP mental health system is doing well and where there is room for improvement.

“We were better organized and better able to meet in each region than most other systems, because we already had lines of communication in place, we had a system in place,” Dr. Zakia Alavi, Chief Medical Officer of NorthCare Network, mentioned.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction with our substance use disorder treatment services,” said Brian Foreman, director of the behavioral health program at Upper Great Lakes Family Care.

Although there are some bright spots, the system faces many complex issues.

“The only thing I would say is where we’re not good with this one is we need more for the kids,” Foreman added.

“Our organization, we offer assisted drug treatment for people who are dependent on opiates, and we see a lot of children coming in at 17, 18 and already using for four, five, six years, and that support was not there. not here.

Like other health services, staffing is at the top of the list of issues.

“One of our contracted vendors has lost 144 employees this year alone,” said Michael St. John, CEO of Pathways Community Mental Health.

“I can’t pay them a salary to compete with the Lower Michigan CMHs so I will never recruit someone from outside the area and I will never have enough local numbers in my area to get the right ones. body here. “

State officials hope to eventually introduce legislation based on participants’ thoughts.

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