Oakland County Officials to host informational hearing on curbing violence will focus on mental health

On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the fourth of a five-part series of special informational hearings on “Curbing Gun Violence” will begin during the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Public Services Committee meeting. The meeting begins at 11:30 am and will follow the regular agenda items. The meeting will be held in the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Committee Room A, located 1200 Telegraph Road in Pontiac, Michigan and will be webcast live.

Public Services Committee Chairman Bill Dwyer and Commissioner Marcia Gershenson are continuing their bipartisan effort to Examine How Oakland County Citizens Are Protected From Gun Violence. Commissioner Dwyer, who is a former Police Chief and Commissioner Marcia Gershenson, who is a former teacher, have outlined a five-part informational series. The fourth informational hearing will include the following mental health panelists to speak on the issue.

The panel includes:

  • Heather Visingardi.  She is the VP of Programs & Services for Common Ground
  • Malkia Newman from Community Network Services
  • Jeff Brown from Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority

Oakland County Commissioner and former Police Chief, William Dwyer. states,  “ The mental health issue is a very complicated   one. There is a great deal of agreement that procedures and laws should be strengthened. It is critical that we understand that mental health providers has worked diligently to reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment. We must be mindful of that, and not  revert or  damage that work of mental health providers. To do so, would drive people away from seeking treatment and cause further harm to a problem for which we are seeking solutions.”

“We are very excited to have representatives from the mental health community participate on our panel. As budgets get balanced, many programs to help those suffering from mental illnesses have been cut. Too often, people with serious mental health issues land in jail because there is a lack of alternative treatment centers. This is an important conversation from experts on how we can better serve those residents that need mental health services,” stated  Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson.

All meetings are open to the public and public input is welcome. To watch all webcasts, go to http://www.oakland.michiganliveevents.com/oakgov.com. To find out about upcoming meetings, go to www.oakgov/boc.com and click on the upcoming news section.


For more information, call Commissioner Bill Dwyer at 248-417-7500 and Commissioner Marcia Gershenson at 248-808-1032.




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