Medical professionals and community leaders must work together to combat Michigan's mental health crisis
Back to Main MenuKen BraunSusan DemasTim SkubickBy RegionAs cited in a December 8 commentary by Marianne Udow Phillips, Michigan Residents Need Better Access to Mental Health Care, Michigan is facing a serious shortage in the availability and accessibility of mental health services. Among those placed most at risk by this shortageshortage Seahawks jerseys cheap
are Michigan children, particularly children living in rural areas, those from ethnic minority backgrounds, and those living in poverty.
As an example, consider that Michigan has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the nation, ranking 42nd, and that children in rural areas experience significantly higher rates of abuse than the state average. However, according to federal definitions, 72% of Michigan rural counties have mental health care Professional Shortage Areas, which means that victims of child abuse and their families are less likely to find adequate services.
The lack of availability of quality mental health care is only one component of a complex problem. Even when services are made available in rural or impoverished communities, they are usually implemented without considering community characteristics, reducing the likelihood that children andand cheap Seahawks jersey
families will use them.
Larissa N. Niec and Ignacio D.
The current approach to developing mental health services is partly to blame for the ongoing problem. Experts based in universities or other centers of knowledge typically create interventions and service strategies that assume a number of resources uch as qualified therapists or accessible service locations are in place.
Although these expert recommendations appear reasonable and are based on sound research, they cannot achieve their objectives when as often happens in underserved communities the assumed conditions do not exist. Failure to consider the actual conditions in underserved communities can lead to the fruitless investment of state resources inin wholesale cheap Seahawks jerseys china
intervention strategies that are unlikely to be successful.
News and Analysis from The Center for Michigan
Successfully reaching the children and families that are most underserved in Michigan requires support for a different approach, one that has worked to address disparities in other places. Specifically, when experts in mental health care and stakeholders within the community work together to develop interventions, the result is mental health care innovation that leads to better use of services.
For example, at the Center for Children, Families and Communities, our partnerships with stakeholders serving Michigan underserved communities have ledled Seahawks jerseys china
us to explore the integration of mental health care into settings that are accessible to families such as schools and, for extreme cases, court systems. Our partnerships have also explored ways to expand mental health care by training the individuals to whom these families often turn for advice such as teachers and religious leaders to be providers of mental health first aid and triage.
To successfully improve Michigan mental health system in ways recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder bipartisan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, the harsh realities facing children and families in Michigan underserved communities must be accountedaccounted cheap Seahawks jerseys
for. This can only happen when the stakeholders who work with and represent these communities are at the table. The barriers to the availability and accessibility of mental health care faced by Michigan families can only be successfully overcome with collaborative, community driven efforts.
Drs. Niec and Acevedo Polakovich co direct the Center for Children, Families and Communities at Central Michigan University.
Bridge Magazine, reprinted with permission. Bridge Magazine, a publication of The Center for Michigan, produces independent, nonprofit public affairs journalism and is a partner with MLive.