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Jaya Lingam

Ferris State University,

Big Rapids, MI-49307
March 27, 2014

The Honorable Governor Rick Snider,

Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Governor Snider,
I am writing as a constituent to encourage you to support, The bipartisan Excellence in
Mental Health Act (S. 264/H.R. 1263), introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and
Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ).
Unfortunately, after decades of budget cuts, our nations community behavioral health centers
struggle to expand their services and aid all Americans in need of help. Far too many people lack
access to the evidence-based treatments, robust support services, and community partnerships
proven to produce better health outcomes. As a result, people with mental illnesses and
addictions often end up with inadequate care provided in emergency rooms or prisons.
According to a bipartisan panel of state leaders Michigan can increase its commitment to
mental health and wellness, improving access to help and eliminating the stigma that is often
becomes a barrier to people getting the assistance they need.
Michelle Rones and Kimberly Hoagwood in their research review on school-based mental
health services stated that schools play an increasing important role in providing mental health
service for children. The research review was conducted from 1985 to 1999 and forty-seven
studies were reviewed. The results suggest that there were a strong group of school-based mental
health programs that have evidence of impact across a range of emotional and behavioral
problems. However, there were no programs that specifically targeted particular clinical
syndromes. The authors identified, the important features of the implementation process that
increased the probability of service sustainability and maintenance were1. Consistent program
implementation. 2. Inclusion of parents, teachers, and peers. 3. Use of multiple modalities.
To support this bill my peers and I are developing a program WeCare to fill the mental
health gap in Title 1 Grand Rapids Public schools. Grand Rapids MI. WeCare will conduct
interviews and assess the students mental health and, if needed, will connect the students with
therapy and treatment. WeCare operates on grant money and donations.
It is very to support this bill to pass, mental health screening will us identify the children
who need help. Over the decade we have witnessed many schools shoots and most recent one
that takes our breath away is Sandy Hook school shooting. I have great confidence that mental
health screen reduce school violence. And provide a brighter career opportunity for the students
because they are our future cornerstone of our country.
Jaya Lingam