Thousands protest mental health provider changes in Lansing


3 TODAY, ABOUT 2,000 LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS CAME TO LANSING TO PROTEST RULE CHANGES THEY SAY COULD PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS. 3 SUE:..THEY DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS THE PEOPLE AT THE FRONTLINES OF PROVIDING MENTAL HEALTH CARE TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN MICHIGAN. BARTON DEITERS HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY FOR WEEKS AND HE WAS THERE TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE PROBLEM. BARTON? 3 BARTON:..THESE MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS SAY THE CHANGES PROPOSED BY THE STATE WOULD EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE THEIR ABILITY TO DIAGNOSE AND TREAT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN BETWEEN 100,000 AND 300,000 PEOPLE IN MICHIGAN THEY SAY THIS COULD EXACERBATE AN ALREADY ACUTE SITUATION. 3 THE STATE LICENSING AND REGULATORY AGENCY HEARING ROOM THAT USUALLY SEES LESS A DOZEN PEOPLE AT A MEETING WAS PACKED BEYOND CAPACITY SPILLING OUT ONTO THE STREETS. SOME 50 PERCENT OF STATE COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC COUNSELLORS ARE LPCS. 3 ((10:03:38-47)) ((09)) ((PAUL KRAUSS, LPC IN GRAND RAPIDS)) “WE’RE THE PEOPLE THAT TRY TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE HOSPITAL, WE TRY TO KEEP PEOPLE OFF OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL WHEN THEY HAVE AN ADDICTION AND WE TRY TO HELP PEOPLE RECOVER FROM POST- TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.” 3 ((10:05:47-52)) ((05)) ((PAUL KRAUSS, LPC IN GRAND RAPIDS)) “WE TREAT OUR PATIENTS WITH RESPECT AND WE WANT TO HELP THEM RECOVER AND GET OUT INTO THE WORLD AGAIN.” 3 (10:12:08-15)) ((07)) ((KRISTEN DELANGE, LPC SPECIALIZING IN TEEN SUBSTANCE ABUSE)) “FOR OUR CLIENTS, THEIR FAMILY, THEIR COMMUNITIES, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, IT IMPACTS EVERYONE.” THE RULE CHANGES ARE NEEDED, ACCORDING TO LARA OFFICIALS TO CLARIFY THE TRAINING AND TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL STANDARDS. THE AGENCY DENIES IT WILL TAKE AWAY LPC’S ABILITY TO TREAT PATIENTS. 3 ((10:23:50-24:00)) ((10)) ((JAMES BLUNDO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION)) “ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM WILL BE WIPED OUT BY THIS DECISION SO THEY HAVE TO TAKE THAT INTO CONSIDERATION BUT THEY’RE NOT, THEY’RE ONLY LOOKING AT THE MOST SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL OPPOSE THE LARA RULES BUT THE MICHIGAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS INCREASES IN TRAINING AND STANDARDS LIKE THOSE PROPOSED BY LARA. IN THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS A BILL IN COMMITTEE SUPPORTED BY THE LPCS THAT DOES CODIFY REQUIREMENTS, BUT THE RACE IS WHETHER THAT BILL CAN BE SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR BEFORE THE LARA RULES TAKE EFFECT. 3 ((10:07:20-32)) ((12)) ((STATE REP. AARON MILLER, R- STURGIS)) “THESE PEOPLE YOU SEE HERE TODAY ARE THE FRONTLINE OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN THE STATE, YOU TAKE THEM OUT AND YOU TAKE OUR MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS THAT ALREADY EXISTS AND YOU JUST BLOW IT UP INTO A HUGE CRISIS, THAT’S WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN.” MILLER SAYS THE GATHERING SHOWS THE URGENCY AND HE BELIEVES LEGISLATORS ARE GETTING THE MESSAGE AND HE BELIEVES IT CAN BE PASSED IN TIME BASED ON WHAT HE WAS TODAY. 3 ((10:19:37-44)) ((07)) ((HEIDI BOTT LPC, YWCA COUNSELLOR)) INCREDIBLE, THIS IS SO ENCOURAGING, I’VE NEVER BEEN IN A SPACE WITH SO MANY LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.” 3 BARTON:..THAT BILL IS EXPECTED TO COME OUT OF COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK. WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON THIS CONTROVERSY INFORMATION ON 3 THIS CONTROVERSY ONLINE AT WOODTV.COM IN STUDIO, BDE 3

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