A local lawmaker is continuing to lead efforts at improve mental health services in Livingston County.

State Rep. Hank Vaupel of Handy Township, fifth from right, joined his colleagues from the House’s mental health task force last Thursday for tours of two state psychiatric facilities. Vaupel, co-chair of the task force, said it was beneficial to learn more about the Hawthorne Center in Northville, which provides intensive inpatient psychiatric services to children and adolescents, and the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline, which provides both diagnostic services to the criminal justice system and psychiatric treatment for criminal defendants found incompetent to stand trial or acquitted by reason of insanity.

The task force ultimately hopes to use what they learn to help pass legislation that can help create consistency in mental health services, greater support for veterans, better attention to substance abuse, and enhanced training for law enforcement. (JK)