Plan combats state’s growing psych worker shortage
State Rep. Joe Bellino today voted in support of a House plan to combat the ongoing shortage of psychiatry workers in Michigan.
The plan allows certain retired mental health professionals to come back to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) without forfeiting their pension benefits.
The issue was brought to the Legislature’s attention last term during the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force statewide tour, which aimed to find ways to improve Michigan’s mental health system by listening to industry experts, families of patients and law enforcement officials.
“Patients are forced to wait longer than they should for care because of the growing shortage of psych workers in Michigan,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “This plan ensures more state psychiatric jobs are filled by experienced individuals, which will improve the overall scope of care for Michigan residents.”
The state already allows retired psychiatrists to continue to keep their pensions during reemployment with the state. Bellino contends the state should extend that same opportunity to other mental health care professionals such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors and therapists to combat serious shortages in such roles.
House Bill 4156 was approved with overwhelming support and now moves to be considered by the state Senate.