With a rise in global awareness for mental health problems, it’s good to have an organization like The Association for Children’s Mental Health. The ACMH is an organization that’s purpose is to provide advocacy to individual children and their families across Michigan. They work to help secure the most appropriate and effective services and help for people in need that is possible. The ACMH was founded in 1989 by two parents, whose children suffered from emotional disorders, in order to support other families who were having the same issues as they were. “We are a family-driven organization, because we believe that families are the best advocates for their children’s needs,” said executive director Jane Shank. Over the last 26 years, the ACMH has continued to be a family-oriented organization with staff across the state of Michigan and members who support activities to enhance a system of services which address the needs of children with serious emotional disorders and their families. ACMH is a statewide chapter of the national Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Their membership of over 1,200 individuals is comprised of family members, professionals and concerned community members. The ACMH works in partnership with the Department of Community Health, Family Independence Agency, Community Mental Health Authorities, Family Court, the Department of Education and local school districts and has many accomplishments to be happy about. They are a partner in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outreach Partnership Program, whose purpose is to spread NIMH research findings and educational materials to the public throughout their states and local communities. ACMH has staff in local areas around Michigan (who are mostly made up of parents whose children have serious emotional disorders) try to be very active in reforming the system and often are catalysts for important changes in local service systems. On top of their local work, ACHM also works at the state level, advocating for policy and legislative changes and development to improve mental health services to families and children. To learn more about The Association for Children’s Mental Health, visit their website at www.acmh-mi.org.
Kyle Dowling is an employee of M3 Group and is pursuing a writing degree at LCC. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and movies.