Rep. Wozniak supports plan to combat state psych worker shortage

Categories: Wozniak News

Retired psych employees returning to work will keep pensions

State Rep. Doug Wozniak today voted in support of a House plan to combat the ongoing shortage of psychiatry workers in Michigan.

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 mental health experts, families of patients and law enforcement officials.

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.

“We must do all we can to continue rebuilding Michigan’s broken mental health care system,” said Wozniak, of Shelby Township. “Our state psychiatric facilities are facing significant staffing issues. This plan will help ensure more state psychiatric jobs are filled by experienced individuals.”

The state already allows retired psychiatrists to continue to keep their pensions during reemployment with the state. Wozniak, who serves on the House Health Policy Committee, 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 unanimous, bipartisan support and now moves to be considered by the state Senate.

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