The Mental Health Association in Michigan

is the only statewide, non-governmental agency concerned with the broad spectrum of mental illness across all age groups.

April 1, 2014

Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) Policy Initiatives for 2013-14

Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) Policy Initiatives for 2013-14

Outcomes through 2013


A. Monitor, analyze and attempt to influence as necessary the state’s Fiscal Year-14-and-15 budgets.

B. Maintain a broad, multi-interest coalition (Michigan Partners in Crisis) to collectively address and advocate about problems of adults and minors with mental illness inappropriately entering the justice system – prison, jail, juvenile.  See our separate Partners in Crisis report.

C. Promote and protect open access to mental health medications in Medicaid and other health care environments.  No anti-access legislation adopted in Michigan. MHAM procured changes to Medicaid expansion law so that access wasn’t threatened. Governor’s Mental Health Commission called for development of single state Medicaid formulary, but within the confines of existing Michigan open access law and “prescriber choice.” DCH leadership has committed to use Medicare Part D without modification as the drug benefit for the coming dual-eligible (Medicaid-Medicare) program.

D. Work with other interested organizations to seek legislation making the State Office of Recipient Rights a Type I (semi-autonomous) agency within the Department of Community Health (DCH), and requiring that local recipient rights offices report to the State Office of Recipient Rights, not Community Mental Health Services programs. The Governor’s Mental Health Commission accepted our premise that it is a conflict-of-interest to have local CMH Rights Offices reporting to local CMH Directors/Boards. The Commission left open the specification of whom local Rights Offices should be reporting to (calling for a “third party”), and did not address the possibility of Type I status for the State (DCH) Recipient Rights Office.

E. Seek legislation to better clarify that there are multiple options available to courts for mental health treatment orders, and that courts must give each alternative equal weight in decision-making.

F. Monitor and react as appropriate to federal health care reform developments in Michigan (i.e., integration of coverage for persons dually enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare; possible Medicaid expansion; operational definition of Essential Health Benefits; implementation of health insurance exchanges; and new mental health parity requirements for the exchanges and Medicaid expansion).

G. Revise Michigan traffic law so that persons taking prescription medication are not at risk of impaired driving charges for simply having any amount of such medication in their system.

H. Seek, and act upon if presented, opportunities to legislatively advance recommendations of the state’s 2004 Mental Health Commission. Also seek to meld that work with the efforts of Governor Snyder’s new Mental Health Commission, and otherwise influence the outcomes of Governor Snyder’s Commission.