Rep. LaFave backs mental health report

LANSING — State Rep. Beau LaFave joined legislators in supporting the findings of the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force Report to improve specialized mental health, veteran and substance abuse services across Michigan.

“Upper Peninsula residents know firsthand the limitations of mental health programs, so I’m pleased to see this report focus on the need for more resources and cooperation,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “Demand for veterans programs, substance abuse treatment and growing issues tied to mental health is not exclusive to the lower half of our state. While I appreciate the efforts of our professionals dedicated to helping our citizens, I’ve also heard loud and clear the need for help whether it’s better policy, more programs or increased funding in the south-central U.P.”

The bipartisan House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force was initiated by House Speaker Tom Leonard with a focus on five key elements: Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety (C.A.R.E.S.) to explore which programs were successful and where vulnerable residents are lacking in care and resources. The panel held over a dozen public meetings and site visits across Michigan in July to October 2017.

“I will be focusing on what the U.P. needs, as I always do, when reviewing the findings and legislation driven by this Task Force,” LaFave said. “We need to more specialized training for our police officers, expanded court programs, more services dedicated to helping children touched by mental illness, improved treatment for opioid addiction and more resources to helping our veterans.”

The full report is available to review at the website www.house.mi.gov/CARES.

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