‘Very scary for us’: Advocates worry Whitmer won’t veto bills privatizing mental health care
Two years ago, Republican lawmakers inserted a provision into the state budget that would have, in part, privatized Michigan’s public mental health system. Immediately, mental health providers and advocates called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto the provision, saying it would cause sweeping damage to the care being provided to approximately 300,000 low-income Michiganders with […]
Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids
WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. Within […]
Bipartisan bills boost crisis response and jail diversion programs for people with mental illness
State Sens. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) and Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced two bills last week to establish grants funding community crisis and jail intervention programs in localities to address pitfalls in mental health response programs in Michigan. In 1974, the Community Mental Health code was established in Michigan that created laws and programs to […]
Students and schools are struggling during the pandemic. Here’s what’s in Whitmer’s recovery plan.
Many Michigan students are struggling with academic performance and social and emotional health, teachers are suffering from burnout and colleges are experiencing plunging enrollment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer rolled out a plan in response. “The most pressing challenges schools face aren’t new, but they have been exacerbated by the […]
Thousands of kids have lost loved ones to COVID. Are schools prepared to help them?
The last year was tough for Latonya Peterson, a mom and grandmother from Detroit, and her family, as they dealt with three deaths in their “close-knit” clan throughout the pandemic. Peterson lives with her three children, NaQuanda, 22, William, 18, and Joshua, 15, and her two grandchildren, Patrick, 15, and Alexander, 5, who are all […]
State releases harrowing 2020 suicide data, recommends increased emotional support
Provisional data shows there were 1,282 suicide deaths in Michigan in 2020, according to a report by the Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission. Compared to 2019, which had 1,471 suicides in Michigan, that number is lower, but the commission expects the 2020 data to increase as more suicide reports are finalized. “In Michigan, anyone who needs […]
Stabenow, Tlaib highlight need for more behavioral health clinics amid COVID-19 pandemic
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and advocates said Thursday that more certified behavioral health clinics are needed in underserved communities. The Capitol Hill lawmakers said the need for services provided by these facilities has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. “The COVID-19 crisis has shown a spotlight on the urgent […]
Column: I’m a teacher. Why am I considered expendable?
In the timeless movie “Almost Famous,” main character William Miller loses his temper. “Who am I to you?” he shouts. “WHO AM I TO YOU?” He is yelling at a groupie – er, Band-Aid – with whom he had just spent the night, who was now tossing him her laundry on his way out the […]
Here’s what’s in the Whitmer budget for schools after being rocked by COVID
After a tough year for students during the pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced a budget proposal that includes what she says is the largest investment in K-12 schools in Michigan history, as well as funds to expand post-secondary programs and childcare. Whitmer’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 plan released Thursday offers $14.7 billion investment […]
A new baby and a 9-month furlough with no end in sight: How COVID is straining Mich. families
When Rachael Guzzardo was furloughed from her job as a physical therapist for a large health system in metro Detroit in May, the mother of two, including a son born on Feb. 29, applied for unemployment. When she was told she could receive the benefits for up to 26 weeks, Guzzardo told her husband, “There’s […]
Column: New Kids Count data on families’ needs demands bipartisan action
We have known since the coronavirus pandemic hit Michigan that it was going to hit families with children particularly hard, especially families who were already struggling before the health crisis hit. But thanks to a new report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation this week, “Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and a […]
A ‘trauma tsunami’: COVID-19 takes its toll on Michiganders’ mental health
When a patient is dying from COVID-19, nurse Molly Nixon will hold their hand. She will tell them they are loved. And, often, she will be the last person they see as they take their final breaths. “I’m there with them as their last human contact; I’m the last person they see on this earth […]