Mental health communities issue joint statement on recent tragedies

Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 2:44 PM EDT
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Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties and NAMI-Lansing have come together to issue the following statement regarding the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

"To our community: As community partners offering care and support to individuals and families with mental illness in the tri-county area, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), NAMI-Lansing, and Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties (CMHA-CEI) are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred last weekend in Texas and Ohio. Each time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. The truth is that the vast majority of violence is not perpetrated by people with mental illness. This sole focus on mental illness instead of the interaction of evidence-based social, environmental, and psychological risk factors, including easy access to firearms in the U.S., leads to misinformed and inadequate approaches that perpetuate stigma, distract from the real issues, and discourage individuals suffering from treatable mental illness from seeking treatment. We join together locally in supporting the recent statement issued by NAMI that gun violence is a national public health crisis that impacts everyone and that commonsense approaches are needed. NAMI also calls for making access to mental health care a national priority for everyone citing that one in five American adults experience a mental illness, but only 43 percent of them accessed care in the last year. In Michigan, a recent report on access to behavioral health care commissioned by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund finds that of the 1.76 million Michiganders experiencing a mental illness, across all insurers, about 62 percent receive treatment, leaving 38 percent, more than 666,000 people with unmet needs. Even more alarming is that in state, only 20 percent of those in need of Substance Use Disorder Treatment receive the care needed, leaving over a half million individuals untreated. We applaud the bipartisan supported federal Excellence in Mental Health Act passed in 2014 that is now bringing Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic funds to our state to expand access to behavioral health care. We support the contents of the recently reintroduced Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act that would further expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program. Mass violence is a community wide issue that cannot be solved by any one organization or system. NAMI-Lansing and CMHA-CEI remain committed to our ongoing collaborative efforts to improve access to appropriate care for individuals and families dealing with serious mental illness. We will continue working alongside our multiple community partners across the capital area to build diverse, inclusive, safe, and healthy communities through ongoing prevention, education, outreach, crisis intervention, and response efforts in the community. We invite the entire community to take part in upcoming collaborative community events such as CMHA-CEI Families Forward Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Aug. 15, 2019 and NAMI-Lansing Mental Health Awareness Events on Oct. 6-12, 2019. For more information on these efforts contact: NAMI Lansing: | 517-484-3404 Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties: | PR and Outreach Assistant: 517-887-5308"

It was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties, Sara Lurie, and Margaret Keeler of NAMI Lansing.

For additional information, contact Chelsea Hadd, our PR/Outreach Assistant, at


The Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham Counties is hosting a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Fair on August 15.

This event will have fun outdoor activities, snacks, music, and more.

The event aims to celebrate children’s mental health and wellness by offering fun activities, mental health screenings, and having professionals available to interact with families and answer questions.

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