Members of a legislative task force focusing on mental health issues have been listening to stakeholders throughout the state.

State Representative Hank Vaupel is co-chair of the bi-partisan House CARES or Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety Task Force. The panel visited northern Michigan, Harrison and Mackinaw City to talk with representatives from Community Mental Health departments as well as sheriffs from around the area, who Vaupel says very frequently have the first contact with people who are experiencing mental health issues.

Vaupel says there are some really great mental health courts, drug courts and veteran courts but they vary and there is little uniformity throughout the state. He says they all do good things but trying to put it all together is a little difficult. Also being explored was how access and transportation affect services in and out-state of Michigan. (JM)