Summit Looks At Mental Health, Criminal Justice

Nov 8, 2017

Governor Rick Snyder - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth, Michigan Public Radio Network / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Experts in mental health and criminal justice were in Lansing Tuesday. It was part of Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to overhaul both systems and help people struggling with addiction, unemployment, and, sometimes, criminal behavior. 

Governor Snyder formed the group four years ago to help come up with ways to integrate physical and mental health services. 

“And that’s a message that I still don’t think people fully understand – you can’t separate physical and mental health.”

Michigan Corrections Director Heidi Washington was a keynote speaker. 

“And putting our resources, hopefully, more on the front end of the system so that we’re helping people earlier on in the process, turning them around, and diverting them from the path of incarceration.”

Governor Snyder created the Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council in 2013. The state is in the process of trying to figure out how to better integrate physical and mental health services. Some mental health advocates are concerned the Snyder administration’s plans would shift too much responsibility for services to for-profit insurance companies.