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Future of community mental health services for five counties uncertain as Grand Traverse County considers alternatives

There could be a reshuffling of some mental health services in several northern Michigan counties.

This month, Grand Traverse County commissioners announced they are considering breaking away from the Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority. If that happens, it would dissolve the regional agency which also serves Leelanau, Mason, Missaukee and Wexford counties.

Mental health services in Michigan are coordinated through, and provided by, community mental health services. The regional authority also helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, children with emotional disturbance and those with substance use disorders.

Some advocates, recipients of services and employees of Northern Lakes say the change could increase costs and possibly disrupt important programs.

Grand Traverse County Commissioners say they want to expand mental health programs and plan to maintain services.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.