Since being elected as a state representative, West Bloomfield resident Noah Arbit has focused some of his attention on mental health.

Since being elected as a state representative, West Bloomfield resident Noah Arbit has focused some of his attention on mental health.

Photo provided by Noah Arbit

Local state rep part of House’s first mental health committee

‘This job has given me such a purpose’

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published May 23, 2023


GREATER WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield native Noah Arbit took office Jan. 1 as the representative for state House District 20, which comprises all of West Bloomfield Township, eastern Commerce Township along the M-5/Haggerty corridor, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, and the northwestern-most part of Bloomfield Township along Square Lake and Telegraph roads.

“When I took office, I was assigned to five different committees, which is a lot of committees, and the first one is the behavioral health committee, which I’m the vice chair of,” Arbit said. “This is the first time ever in Michigan history that the Legislature has a dedicated committee to focus on mental health, and that’s really meaningful. I’m very excited to get to that work.”

Mental health is one of the issues that Arbit said he campaigned on, and it is one that is personal to him.

“I know that I would not be here today were it not for the resources and opportunities that I had to ensure that my struggles weren’t sentences,” he said. “I know that isn’t the case for far too many people across (the) state.”

Arbit is also part of criminal justice and judiciary, families, children and seniors, and natural resources and environmental committees.

He shared personal reasons for why he is a mental health advocate.

“Before I sort of found my calling and my purpose, I struggled a lot, and that informs why I’m such a strong advocate on mental health and why I want to make access to mental health easier to people,” Arbit said. “When you’re not feeling like you have a purpose, it’s devastating, and it has such profound negative impacts. … It took me to sort of find my niche, find my purpose, to find a role in which I could make a contribution to the improvements in my life — my mental health, my physical health, my relationships. (It’s) been profound, and that makes me such an advocate.”

Arbit believes that his role as a state representative has helped him during his journey.

“This job has given me such a purpose, a platform, and given me something to fight for,” he said. “The waste of human capital is so profound, and anything I can do to use my own experiences … to help other people sort of get on a good path, too, is really important. … I feel like that’s why I was called to do this.”

Dana Lasenby is the chief executive officer and executive director of the Oakland Community Health Network, which is located in Troy.

“A person’s mental health influences how they think, feel and behave daily,” Lasenby stated via email. “It can impact coping with stress, overcoming challenges, building relationships and recovering from difficult situations. Individuals with a strong sense of purpose and a positive outlook can have better mental health and overall well-being.”

Although Arbit understands that there won’t be agreement on every issue, he has found that the topic of mental health is a unifying one in Lansing.

“We have found common ground,” he said. “I think a lot of the issues that I’m working on, like mental health, (is) completely an issue of bi-partisan concern. I believe we will get bi-partisan support on (a) hate-crime package, I really do, because everyone has an interest in building safe and resilient communities, and that’s the common ground that we find, is that everyone wants to be safe, healthy and well.”

Arbit, who attended Bloomfield Hills Schools, said he still lives in West Bloomfield. He shared details of some of his day-to-day routines.

“I have not moved to Lansing, and I would not move to Lansing,” he said. “We have legislative session (on) Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and so I commute back and forth to Lansing, which is a tough commute sometimes — about an hour and a half. Mondays and Fridays we are working in our districts, taking meetings. Sometimes I’ll be at the Keego Harbor City Hall; they’ve given me a space to work at sometimes, which is really nice.”

For more information about Oakland Community Health Network, call (248) 464-6363 or visit