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As a representative, my mission has been to improve the safety of families across the state. I have dedicated much of my life to public service, and I am intent on achieving that mission.

My commitment continues as co-chair of a new bipartisan House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force, which stands for Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety. This task force is exploring ways to enable Michigan residents with mental health challenges to live happier, healthier and more prosperous lives.

That mission extends to our criminal justice system as we must improve how we deliver mental health services to our prison population while at the same time being smart on crime, soft on taxpayers, and promoting public safety. This task force will build a conversation around these issues as a whole, expose diverse perspectives, and find solutions to address mental health services effectively.

The task force will be in Oakland County on Aug. 29. The meeting will include law enforcement officials, doctors, psychologists and organization leaders at the Oakland County Health Network in Auburn Hills. We welcome Michigan residents to share with the committee their problems with the system and suggestions for improvement. While our time is limited at the meeting, those who do not get a chance to speak can contribute to the task force through a written response on the House C.A.R.E.S. website at www.house.mi.gov/CARES.

As the third of these public meetings, we are continuing to push for legislation to be introduced in late 2017 and serve as the impetus for new, dynamic, and integrative delivery of mental health services in communities big and small, to help individuals in need and keep our families safe and healthy. With our House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force on mental health reform, we are committed to improving Michigan’s criminal justice system and the lives of patients and families in our communities.

State Rep. Klint Kesto

R-Commerce Twp.

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