ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 16, 2021 — Yesterday, state Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield) held an event in Ann Arbor focused on improving community-based mental health systems as part of the Democrats’ Mental Health Listening Tour. House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski  (D-Scio Township) and Democratic Floor Leader Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) joined her.


Community partners and constituents discussed the community’s mental health systems. Once the tour is finished, legislators will use the recommendations and feedback gathered to craft legislation that reflects the needs of people around the state.  


“I was thrilled to join my fellow representatives and hear from their communities about what an effective mental health system needs to provide,” said Brabec, a practicing clinical psychologist. “Their input and feedback is invaluable in crafting legislation that addresses the needs of communities across the state. It’s time we listen to them and give them the power and resources to better serve mental health in their community.”


“The pandemic has sparked anxiety and caused preexisting mental illness to surface in both school children and adults alike, thrusting this long-standing issue into the spotlight and giving us an opportunity to provide real solutions,” said Lasinski. “House Democrats are committed to fulfilling the promise we’ve made to provide the support and resources Michiganders living with mental illness need. Working together with community members, health systems and local mental health organizations, we are gathering real world ideas and solutions we will use to craft legislation to bring Michigan’s laws and funding priorities into the 21st century.”


“In the disability rights movement, there is a powerful saying: Nothing about us, without us,” Rabhi said. “The people our community mental health system serves need to be at the table when we consider how it can be improved. Instead of prioritizing the interests of insurance companies that seek to privatize community mental health, we must focus on ways to live up to the promise of a community mental health system that supports people to lead full, self-determined lives.”