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Whitmer Talks Mental Health Struggles for Students While Visiting Thunder Bay Community Health

Thunder Bay Community Health Service gives primary and mental health care to 20 schools across northern Michigan.

On Thursday, Governor Whitmer stopped by to hear about their work and how they’re helping kids in those six different counties. “Parents are trying to get back on track and try to get our kids back on track academically, physically, emotionally, socially mentally,” she said.

Governor Whitmer tours Thunder Bay Community Health Service in Hillman

The schools provided with mental health from Thunder Bay Community Health spans across six counties. “We just see the potential in kids, we want to be there for them, and we want Governor Whitmer’s support and she’s so supportive, her and her team, and we really just want to acknowledge that,” said Michelle Styma, CEO of Thunder Bay Community Health Service.

With COVID–19 still playing a part in their lives and dealing with the recent tragedies happening around the country, children have had a lot to work through mentally. “Anxiety, stressors that they’re unable to deal with,” said Styma. “They just don’t know how. They can’t even identify them. There may be depression and may be just isolation.”

The country has been rocked with multiple mass shootings in recent months, something that takes its toll on students everywhere. “You think about the drills that kids have to go through, active shooter drills, these are not things I had to do,” said Whitmer. “We were worried about tornados. That was the only concern we had.”

As lawmakers around the country consider changing gun laws to keep schools safe, Whitmer said that’s something to consider in Michigan. “I do think that whether it’s secure storage, or it is a background check or red flag law, there are places where we can find some common ground that will not impact hunters rights and gun owners rights but will make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of people that are dangerous,” Whitmer said.

During her visit, the governor also had the chance to tour Thunder Bay Community Health which will be soon be celebrating their 40th anniversary.