Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority

The purpose of the Board shall be to implement the provisions of Act 258, of the Public Acts of 1974, of the State of Michigan, hereinafter referred to as the "Mental Health Code".

Committee Goals

All people in Van Buren County will have access to public mental health and substance use disorder services that are trauma informed and support individuals with mental illness, emotional disturbance, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders.  People with the greatest and severest needs are the highest priority and will have the supports and services necessary to be healthy, safe and successful.

  1. There will be improved functioning in children and their families whose functioning is impaired by intellectual/developmental disability, or a mental/emotional condition, or a substance use disorder.
  2. The suicide rate in Van Buren County will decrease.
  3. Improvements will be made in Van Buren County in substance use prevention priority areas. 
  4. There will be an improvement in the quality of life for adults and older adults with serious mental illness or intellectual/developmental disabilities or substance use disorders.

Requirements to Become a Board Member

  1. At least 1/3 of the membership shall be primary consumers or family members, and of that 1/3 at least 2 members shall be primary consumers.
  2. All Board members shall be 18 years of age or older.
  3. Not more than 4 members of the Board may be county commissioners.
  4. No more than half of the total Board members may be state, county, or local public officials.  For purposes of this section, public officials are defined as individuals serving in an elected or appointed public office or employed more than 20 hours per week by an agency of federal, state, city, or local government.
  5. A Board member shall have his or her primary place of residence in Van Buren County.
  6. An individual shall not be appointed to and shall not serve on the Board if he or she is one or more of the following:
  1. Employed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or Van Buren Community Mental Health (VBCMH).
  2. A person administering or benefiting financially from a contract with VBCMH.
  3. Serving in a policy-making position with an agency or program providing contractual services to VBCMH.  

Additionally prospective Board members are background checked and may not be on a federal exclusion list which bars them from making decisions on how federal funding is spent.

Current Board Members

Committee Position
Term Expiration
Susan BarnesChairperson3/31/2024
Angela DickersonVice Chair3/31/2024
Tom ErdmannSecretary/Treasurer3/31/2023
Catherine BoltonMember3/31/2024
Thomas ColesMember3/31/2025
Carie FaulMember3/31/2025
Michael MosleyMember3/31/2024
Thomas PalenickMember3/31/2025
Carol SoquistMember3/31/2023
Mike TothMember3/31/2025
Commissioner Gail Patterson-GladneyMemberCommissioner Representative

The board meets  at least 6 times a year; currently on the 2nd Monday of the month starting at 6:00 PM at the Human Services Building East in Paw Paw, MI.  For further information visit the Van Buren County Community Mental Health website.