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.

August 23, 2016

Will Michigan Senate Join House in Making AOT More Accessible?

A bill is pending in the Michigan Senate, H.B. 4674, which would improve the state’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) law that went into effect in 2005. The existing law, commonly known as Kevin’s Law, was named for a young college student who was murdered by a man with untreated mental illness at a Kalamazoo train station. Unfortunately, the law was drafted in a way that makes it difficult to implement and therefore few individuals have benefited from it.

H.B. 4674 already passed the Michigan House of Representatives by a vote of 103 to 2. It must be adopted by the Senate before the end of 2016 or it will have to start over next legislative session. For those individuals living with untreated mental illness who cycle in and out of mental health hospitals, jails, prisons, co-morbid medical conditions, and homelessness — and the families who love them — this would be an enormous tragedy.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (court-ordered, community-based care) is an evidence-based, thoroughly road-tested intervention that improves outcomes for a small, yet highly vulnerable population. Additionally, it reduces the amount of money spent on costly hospitalizations, incarcerations, and social and medical services. It is clearly a win-win.

This is why we need your help TODAY! Please write, call, or e-mail Senator Mike Shirkey, Chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee, and urge him to schedule H.B. 4674 for a vote this fall. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. And, if you have a personal story about how untreated serious mental illness has impacted your family, share that as well.

The Honorable Mike Shirkey

Michigan State Senate
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
(517) 373-5932

Thank you for contacting Senator Shirkey today!