Griffin Forum Panel March 14 at Opperman Auditorium


Guests listen to panelists speaking for and against a trio of ballot propositions in this October 2022 photo. The voter information session, 'Ballot Breakdown,' was presented in partnership with the Griffin Forum. 

Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chair Andrea LaFontaine will host a panel on mental health as part of the Griffin Forum on from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 14 in Opperman Auditorium at the Park Library.

A group of panelists will address mental health policy in Michigan by highlighting current events on campus and throughout the state. The panelists include: 

  • State Rep. Felicia Brabec, a practicing clinical psychologist; 
  • Stacy Bare, mental health advocate; 
  • Rob Vallentine, steering team meember of Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership and executive in residence at Saginaw Valley State University; 
  • former State Rep. Mary Whiteford; and 
  • Dr. Sarah Domoff, clinical child psychologist and director of CMU Family Health Lab. 

Prior to the panel, there will be an open house and reception at 4:30 p.m., hosted in the Park Library Strosacker Room. The reception is for those interested in the School of Politics, Society, Justice and Public Service, to mingle and network with faculty and panelists.

Students are encouraged to attend the panel and ask questions regarding mental health policy in Michigan and on CMU’s campus. 

“Everybody can be an advocate,” LaFontaine said. “[The students’] voices matter, and they can make a difference. Just because legislators are elected officials that are in Lansing, doesn’t mean that students can’t show up to their office and talk to them about an issue. It’s their job to represent the people, and students are included in that.”

The panel will begin with an introduction of the panelists, followed by a talk on the current state of mental health in Michigan. Panelists will also discuss any personal experiences they have with mental health and what needs to be done to remedy common mental health problems. There will be discussion on available mental health resources, ending with a Q&A to engage students in the audience. 

The goal of the panel is to build a connection between CMU students and Michigan policymakers.