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Politics & Government

Stateside: MDOC staff mental health program; human-centric forms; Riley leaves Freep after 19 years

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The Michigan Corrections Officer Union says that 14 active or recently-retired officers have died by suicide since 2015.

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Department of Corrections has hired a mental health specialist to run an employee mental wellness program in response to concerns about stress and suicides among corrections officers. Plus, how a design firm streamlined Michigan's long and confusing government assistance application using “human-centric design.”

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

MDOC launches employee mental health initiative amidst concerns over stress and suicides

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Stateside’s conversation with Lynn Gorski

  • Michigan is offering a helping hand to the people who guard its prisons. In response to concerns over stress and suicides among corrections officers, the Michigan Department of Corrections has brought in mental health professional Lynn Gorski to run an employee wellness program. Gorski ran a similar program for the Michigan State Police, and she tells us about how the new program will support mental wellness among prison staff. 

Bacon: UM’s Beilein to coach Cavaliers, ‘I did not see this coming at all’

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Stateside’s conversation with John U. Bacon

  • The news broke like a thunderclap across the University of Michigan campus: head basketball coach John Beilein is leaving to become head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon shares his take on why Beilein made the choice, and how losing their long-time coach will affect the team's players.

How Michigan used “human-centric” design to make its public benefits process more user-friendly

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Stateside’s conversation with Michael Brennan

  • Before design firm Civilla CEO Michael Brennan and his team revamped Michigan's public  benefits application, the form clocked in at 42 pages and over 1,000 questions. Now, it’s 60% shorter, and far more user friendly. Brennan explains how his firm simplified the application process with help from actual applicants, and what he hopes other institutions could learn from using "human-centric" design.

AIM High School musicians take stage at Stateside live show

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Stateside’s conversation with Matthew Landrum and Max Weinstein

  • Aim High School is a unique school in Farmington Hills that draws in students from 6th to 12th grade who are on the autism spectrum or have other neuro-diverse learning styles. The school also features a talented group of musicians called the Aim High Flyers, who were our musical guests at Stateside’s live show in Dearborn on May 2.
  • Matthew Landrum is the director of humanities at Aim High School, and Max Weinstein is a senior at the school who plays guitar with the Aim High Flyers. They talk about how the band fits in with the mission of Aim High School, and how it has shaped Weinstein's plans for his future. 

Longtime columnist Rochelle Riley says goodbye to Freep after 19 years

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Stateside's conversation with Rochelle Riley

  • After 19 years, Rochelle Riley has written her last column for the Detroit Free Press. Riley took a buy-out from the newspaper, but she won’t be idle for long. Later this month, she’ll become the city of Detroit’s new Director of Arts and Culture. Riley joined Stateside to reflect on her nearly two decades with the Free Press, and how she views the role of arts and culture in Detroit in 2019. 

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