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.

February 17, 2021

Letter from Lansing – October 2020

MHAM’s Statement on Racism & Equality
The Mental Health Association in Michigan considers racism to be detrimental to the individual, collective mental health and well-being of persons of color. MHAM understands that racism undermines mental health. MHAM is committed to anti-racism in all that we do. The time is now for those systems that are inhabited by racism and discrimination to be reformed and MHAM is committed to working toward that end.

A Note from the President & CEO
Welcome to the October 2020 edition of MHAM’s monthly newsletter that provides you with public policy updates and other information that impacts the behavioral health care of you and those you love.

The month of October evokes images of changing colors on the trees from emerald green to amber, orange and flaming red. The landscape is infused with vibrant colors. Driving north on US 31 toward Traverse City gives one the feeling of traveling inside a painting by Claude Monet. The changing of the colors indicates that fall has arrived in our state and our focus at this time of the year is usually on Halloween, sporting events and preparations for Thanksgiving.

This year, however, is markedly different than many of the fall seasons most of us have experienced. There remains the specter of COVID-19 and a lot of us are wondering how we are going to celebrate holidays with family, friends and loved ones. We or someone we know may be unemployed or we may be experiencing the long-term impact of contracting COVID-19. A variety of challenges loom large as the pandemic continues and as that happens, so does anxiety. It is important for all of us to pay attention to our minds and our emotions.

The Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) cares about the individual and collective mental health and well-being of Michiganders. We are offering some mental health resources for readers who may find themselves struggling amidst the turmoil of the upcoming elections and the uncertainty of knowing when life might become “normal” again.

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 7 PM, MHAM will be hosting a town hall event called, “Coping in the Age of Uncertainty.” It will be presented by Marianne Huff, LMSW, President and CEO of MHAM. William James said, “The greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.” The theme of the evening is ways to cope with the current challenges in our state and in our country. It is free and you stay tuned to for info on this event on our website and Facebook page.

MHAM is concerned about the increase in suicides among our youth,
particularly between the ages of 10 and 34. In December of this year, MHAM will be hosting a virtual community conversation about youth suicide. MHAM is partnering with the Association for Children’s Mental Health to talk about youth suicide that will be focused on: Help and Hope and Education. The goal is for youth with lived experience to be the speakers about how they would like their concerns to be addressed and to talk about “what does it look like for one of them if there are suicidal thoughts and ideation.” We will also talk about how to identify suicidal behaviors in youth and young adults. This event is geared toward youth and their parents and supporters. We will get you more information soon!

Mental Health America (MHA) offers resources for those struggling with anxiety due to the pandemic. MHA makes these observations about anxiety on its website and offers valuable resources. Please CLICK HERE to view them.

“As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases, so does the associated anxiety. For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as essential to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them – we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them. To aid individuals and communities during this time, MHA has compiled a range of resources and information. You can learn more about mental health and COVID-19 from our blogs and webinars.”

To read the full October 2020 newsletter, CLICK HERE.