“I would like to introduce myself and provide you with some background information about myself. I am James and I am currently employed by the State of Michigan as an RCA at the Caro Center Psychiatric Hospital in Caro Michigan. May 6, 2019, marks my one-year anniversary with the state. I am a husband, son, grandson, nephew, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. In the picture provided, I stand beside my loving, supportive and handsome husband Zachary. We were married on August 26, 2017, in Las Vegas Nevada with the love and support of our families.
This may come as a surprise to many, but I suffer from a major depressive disorder. I know firsthand the struggles and suffering that are associated with mental illness. I also know the importance of a strong support system, medication, therapy, and guidance from positive influences.
I have worked in healthcare for twelve years and, prior to coming to the Caro Center, my background was mostly medical. I left my previous position working on a surgical step-down unit in Midland Michigan in search of personal fulfillment. I’ve always yearned to help others. At my previous job, I no longer felt challenged, satisfied, or that I was making a difference in peoples lives. With the support of my husband at my side, I took a leap of faith; we relocated, and I made a career change. We are blessed and grateful to have family that took both of us in until we can find a house of our own. We were searching for a suitable home that would work for a growing family, with intentions of having children. This has since changed following a devastating announcement depicting a skeptical future and no job security.
On March 13, 2019 my co-workers and I were blindsided when we received word that Governor Whitmer and her administration announced they were delaying the reconstruction of the Caro Center which was set in place by former Governor Rick Snyder and his administration to build a new, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital on the grounds of the current Caro Center. The Center has been in service for over 100 years. Funds were already allocated for the project and demolition and other works had already begun. Shortly thereafter, through the Freedom of Information Act, a local news station obtained emails from Governor Whitmer’s administration. These emails expressed the closure of the Caro Center entirely which came as a complete shock to staff, patients, and the community. After much consideration, due to uncertainty about the fate of the Caro Center, my husband and I have currently halted our current house hunt. We are hesitant to invest in the community when we may be forced to relocate and find jobs elsewhere.
With much support from the community, a movement has begun to save the Caro Center. We need further assistance to persuade Governor Whitmer and her administration to keep the Caro Center going. This matter isn’t just about job security or the economic impact that the loss of the Caro Center would have on the region. It is about mental health and providing services to individuals in need. We need to nourish these individuals so we can reintegrate them into society as healthy citizens who are capable of caring for themselves.
Staff at the Caro Center offer many services in a caring and nourishing environment. The Center is located by the Cass River tucked away on 600 acres of wooded scenery where patients thrive. I can honestly say with all of my heart I have never worked with a better team.