A Local Mental Health Advisory Council (LAC) offers individuals, parents, families, and providers the opportunity to make a real difference in how mental health care is provided in their community. It offers county and state policy makers the wisdom of those who experience mental health concerns first-hand.
There are many benefits to having a LAC:
LACs empower individuals with a lived experience of mental illness and their families
Having an active, productive and effective LAC can lead to the improvement of the local mental health system and services for the community
LACs offer advice on the local mental health system on what is and is not working
Counties can utilize LACs to advise them on a range of mental health related topics, such as improving their local mental health and social services systems.
All counties, alone or in partnership with other counties should have LACs. Counties, county boards and community leaders use LACs to advise them on a range of mental health topics, such as improving their local mental health and social services systems. A county may have both an adult and a children’s mental health LAC, or they may be combined.
Who serves on a LAC
The adult LAC includes:
At least one person with mental illness
One family member of an adult with mental illness
One mental health professional
One community support services program representative.
The children’s LAC includes:
At least one person who was in a mental health program as a child or adolescent
At least one parent of a child or adolescent with severe emotional disturbance
One children’s mental health professional
Representatives of minority populations of significant size residing in the county
Representative of the children’s mental health local coordinating council
One family community support services program representative