Any suicidal thought is a risk. Help is always available. HealthWest's 24/7 crisis line is (231) 722-HELP. Anyone with a mental health concern can also walk into our offices at 376 E. Apple Ave., during business hours for an assessment. If there is an immediate fear of death or injury, please call 911.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line:
Text Home to 741741

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
(888) 628-9454

LGBTQ Youth Hotline
(866) 488-7386

Suicide Hotline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
(800) 799-4889


ACTION ALERT: URGE the Governor to VETO FY20 Section 298 Language and Demand a Rewrite

This afternoon both the House and Senate adopted the conference committee report for SB 139, the FY20 budget bill for the MI Department of Health & Human Services.  The chambers also assigned immediate effect to the bill.  Next, the bill will be enrolled for presentation to the Governor for her review and action before the fiscal year begins on October 1.

The FY20 DHHS budget passed by the legislature contains 298 language that would permit health plans to circumvent the existing public mental health system and contract for services outside of the existing network. This draconian move would allow health plans to make cost the primary focus, rather than placing the care of patients across Michigan first. Further, the plan put forth in the conference committee’s recommendation goes against nearly every core premise of the pilots called for in last year’s approved budget. It destroys the idea of a pilot and moves to a full state carve into a privatized system – long before the pilots are completed and fully evaluated.

This recommendation also allows health plans to retain all savings until they make up for costs that they are allowed to determine. This move will virtually prohibit any savings generated by the pilots from moving to the state’s public mental health system – which was the intent of the behavioral health pilot programs.

The FY20 DHHS budget section 298 language put forth by the state Legislature and for-profit health plans would irreparably damage the state’s existing public mental health system, putting hundreds of thousands of individuals at-risk.

REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION:  We are asking that you contact the Governor expressing your concerns related to the 298 language contained in the FY20 DHHS budget and ask that she VETO the entire 298 section and demand the legislature rewrite the section in a FY20 supplemental budget that better reflects the previous agreements between DHHS, Health Plans and CMHs in the pilot. Timing is critical, the Governor must sign the budget before Tuesday, October 1 to avoid a government shutdown.

We also need you to ask that the members of your Board of Directors, your staff, and your community partners make those same contacts – SIMPLY FORWARD THEM THE ACTION ALERT. These contacts are critical, legislators must hear from us in order to counter the efforts by others opposed to the public management of the state’s publicly sponsored behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services and supports system.

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