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WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE RECEIVES MENTAL HEALTH TESTIMONY FROM MICHIGAN LAWMAKER

 WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE RECEIVES MENTAL HEALTH TESTIMONY
 FROM MICHIGAN LAWMAKER
 MEDINA, Wash., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington State Legislative Budget Committee (LBC) said it heard testimony today from State Sen. Jim Berryman, D-Adrian on Michigan's experience with mental health deinstitutionalization. Berryman, a member of the Senate Mental Health, Human Resources and Senior Citizens Committee who has opposed the Engler Administration's policy of rapid deinstitutionalization, was invited as an expert witness by leaders of the Washington Legislature.
 The LBC, a 16-member, bi-cameral committee that conducts program and performance audits, will use Berryman's testimony to help determine future policy direction in service delivery for Washington citizens with developmental disabilities. The LBC will also hear from legislators from Arkansas, Kentucky and Minnesota.
 "We are delighted to have the benefit of Sen. Berryman's advice," said Ruth Durkan, chairperson of Action for Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs) an organization of parent-advocates. "I hope we in Washington will heed his warning and learn from Michigan's mistakes."
 "If you're going to move people from state facilities into the community, and do it humanely, you must ensure that needed services are in place prior to transfer," said Sen. Berryman. "This is a major failure of Michigan's policy. You also need to recognized that not every patient can thrive in the community -- some need more comprehensive care."
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Wood of Friends of Rainier School, 206-943-0633 or 206-426-6494; or Don Tue, 517-373-3543, for Sen. Berryman/ CO: Washington State Legislative Budget Committee ST: Michigan, Washington IN: HEA SU:


JH-LM -- SE012 -- 0403 09/16/92 20:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1992
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