State officials take public input on issues surrounding Michigan’s mental health system

BY AMY ROBINSON

State officials are traveling to the thumb this afternoon, to take public comment on a health issue that people sometimes avoid talking about.

The Michigan Mental Health Commission is interested in hearing about concerns and suggestions for rural care.

The Commission is in the middle of a six-city series of meetings that began in April. Today’s hearing is intended to give people in at least one of Michigan’s remote, rural areas a chance to be heard.

Angela Minicucci is a spokeswoman for the State Department of Community Health.

“The public can come and literally discuss anything regarding mental health and wellness that they think needs to be addressed. The goal is to allow the public to give input as they look at this issue and really look at the system of care that we have in Michigan,” Minicucci said.

Minicucci said over the past generation, Michigan has seen a cultural change in how mentally ill patients are treated. State run hospitals have been closed down, and emphasis is now on community mental health care.

She said that health system can face unique challenges in rural areas.

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