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.

About Us

Who We Are

The Mental Health Association in Michigan  (MHAM) is a voluntary membership citizens’ organization representing a broad base of people working together as an advocate for individuals with mental illness. Affiliated with Mental Health America, MHAM incorporated as a non-profit entity under Michigan statutes in 1937 and holds 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service. The membership meets annually and elects of Board of Directors, which in turn elects its officers and executive committee. The MHAM maintains a non-partisan posture in its social action and public efforts.

Purposes of the MHAM

 The basic purposes toward which the MHAM works are:

  1. Improved care and treatment of persons experiencing mental illness.
  2. Prevention of mental illness.
  3. Promotion of positive mental health.
  4. Establishment of mental health care as a priority of the public.
  5. Funding for and provisions of services to all who need them.
  6. Eradication of prejudice and discrimination against persons experiencing mental illness.
  7. Elimination of bio-genetic causes of mental illness
  8. Promotion of emotional well-being as an integral part of personal health maintenance.

How MHAM Works to Make an Impact

Gathering and interpreting information about mental health problems and conditions to the public and individuals who shape public policy in Michigan.

By evaluating a variety of public and private mental health services; making recommendations for improvements in these programs; and stimulating demonstration projects to link individuals to needed services.

By making available to the public, as well as providers and recipients of mental health services, educational literature and programming covering all aspects of mental health and mental illness.

As an advocacy organization, MHAM promotes mental health by influencing public policy, evaluating services, fostering partnerships with stakeholders, providing education and outreach, and empowering people affected by brain disorders.


Examples of MHAM’s many accomplishments over its history are:

*Obtained passage of legislation in 1944 allowing social workers to provide services in schools.

*Stimulated a successful bond issue in the early 1950s to increase the number of state psychiatric hospitals and to provide funding for establishment of the Hawthorn Center inpatient program for children and the Lafayette Clinic in Detroit (research, training and care facility).

*Obtained the first public appropriation for community aftercare services in Michigan (early 1960s).

*Stimulated passage of the state’s first community mental health law in 1963.

*Played a major role in adoption of the Michigan Mental Health Code (1974).

*Procured the first legislative appropriation for a specifically designated mental illness prevention line item in the state budget (1976).

*Drafted 1984 legislation setting governing standards for admission and discharge of children to and from psychiatric hospitals.

*Co-founded the Schizophrenics Anonymous self-help program (1985).

*Established and conducted the first community-based monitoring programs of residential settings for mental illness (1980s-90s).

*Played a major role in substantial re-tooling of Michigan’s Mental Health Code (1994-95).

*Stimulated establishment of and served on gubernatorial Mental Health Commission in 2004. (Subsequently drafted the only laws to be enacted in follow-up of the Commission’s work.)

*Drafted state law on open access to medications in the Medicaid program for mental illness and other high-risk conditions (2004).

*Co-authored state laws on advance psychiatric directives and assisted outpatient treatment (2004-05).

*Founded and maintained a statewide coalition (Michigan Partners in Crisis) on mental health-and-justice system issues (2008-present).

*Analyzed and developed recommended changes for over 100 state policies and operating procedures on correctional mental health care (2009-10).

*Surveyed Michigan judges and CMH programs to establish state baseline data on assisted outpatient treatment usage and perceptions; procured state legislation promoting jail diversion and Medicaid continuity for incarcerated individuals (2014).