Building a Better Mental Health System
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Information and referral line: 248.706.0591

AMI Oakland County
29548 Southfield Road, Suite 101

Southfield, MI 48076 Phone: 248.203.1998

News Media Contact
Fred Cummins, President
Phone: 248.752.3872

Newsletter - Hope Cummins
Phone: 248.203.1998

Publicity - Cheryl Patel


Website comments or recommendations should be directed to:


Advocacy for AMI Oakland covers many areas, such as education, fighting stigma etc. This section of our Website deals with two distinct areas where AMI Oakland advocates to make a difference. Those areas are; helping to change and improve the system for persons with mental illness and their families and advocating to get services needed by persons with mental illness.


Building a Better Mental Health System

See the Key Objectives for Transformation of the Michigan Mental Health System for tje reqiuirements of a new, public mental health system that can dramatically improve the quality of life of persons with mental illness, their families and the communities in whihc they live.  

The current mental health system has been crippled by inadequate funding, lack of leadership, a fragmented system, and delegation of risk.  Many people have lost services.  Persons without Medicaid are being denied access. Some people have experienced reductions in services.  Staffing is inadequate due to budget limitations and non-competitive wages.

The Snyder administration leveraged this deterioration to drive a move to a privatized mental health system.  Privatization would transfer the management of Medicaid funding (most of the current funding) to Medicaid HMOs. This would further increase administrative costs and remove accountability.  See Summary of the Perils of Mental Health System Privatization for more detail.  There is still an effort by the legislature to pursue proivatization with pilot projects to implement privatization in specific areas of the state.  However, these pilot projects will destroy the public system in those areas while failing to legitimately evaluate reasonable configiurations and appropriate populations to be served.

We propose that the current system can be fixed to greatly improve quality, efficiency and accountability to provide a system that truely serves the citizens of Michigan rather than put money in the pockets of statkholders of private companies. .

Town Hall Meetings

We orgaized town hall meetings where people who are experincing services of the mental health system could present their problems and concerns to legislators.  See the town hall flier at Town Hall Meetings. The meetings were video recorded.  Below are links to the video recordings.

Oakland County Town Hall, Septenber 22.  The video is in three parts:

Macomb County Town Hall, September 28

Wayne County Town Hall, October 15

Monroe County Town Hall, October 3


MDHHS Effort to Define a Future Michigan Mental Health System

Section 298 of the Michigan budget proposed in February, 2016, would have enabled the transfer of funding from the current mental health system to HMOs--privatization of mental health services.  This received major public opposition and was withdrawn. 

Liutenant Governor Calley organized a 298  Stakeholdes committee (grew to about 120 people with many advocates) that met in several sessions ending in June.  That committee developed values, what is currently good and bad and recommendations for features of a future system. This initiative influenced a revised Section 298 that calls for MDHHS to present a proposal for system changes to the legislature in January, 2017. Information on this effort can be found at Section 298 Initiative  Documents from that committee may no longer be available on the MDHHS web site. 

Then MDHHS announced a new committee of 4 MDHHS managers to develop a propoasl.  A strong push by advocates led to the formation of a "Section 298 Facilitation Work Group, composed of representatives of selected stakeholder organizations.  That work group participated in the development and analysis of public input to the MDHHS initiative.  Public input started with forums held acoss the state for three "Affinity Group" communities--consumers and families, providers and payers. 

MDHHS issued an "interim draft" document in December that presents the MDHHS summary of recommendations that emerged from Affinity Group sessions for public comment.  The document does not present a MDHHS proposal, it presents a summary of the Affinity groups comments.  A revised draft was presented to the legislature January 15, 2017, that presents essentially the same results but with more history and plans.

Since then, MDHHS accepted proposals until February 4. The proposals were required to take the form of questions from MDHHS, so the model descriptions are fragmented.  The proposal documents were published by MDHHS in a 507-page document on February 16. with a public hearing scheduled for February 24, in Lansing.  Our proposal is number 2, a proposal by some of the advocates who sre members of the MDHHS work group submitted number 1.  A proposal by Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority, Macomb County Community Mental Health and Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is number 27.

On March 15, 2017, a final MDHHS report was presented to the legislature.

Advocacy General Information

Governor GranholmBelow are other sources of information and suggestions for participation.
How Can You Advocate for mental illness?
  • Become a Member of an advocacy group like AMI.
  • Volunteer some of your time
  • Keep Educated and up to date on mental illness
  • Become a Stigma Buster
  • Make donations to advocacy groups like AMI
  • Participate in mental illness events such as NAMI Walks
  • Attend AMI General meetings to keep abreast of current issues
  • Write your Legislator and tell him/her how you feel about mental health issues coming before the legislature.
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