Community Mental Health Authority expands programs to meet rising demand

Community mental health authority works to address shortage
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As the stigma around mental health decreases, the demand for care increases.

The Community Mental Health Authority (CMH) for Eaton Ingham and Clinton counties has had a busy year of working to increase care. They hosted a community event Monday to present their annual report for 2022.

With so much tragedy impacting the Tri-county area in recent years, they decided to make Monday’s theme hope and healing. CMH was one of the primary mental health responders for the mass shooting at Michigan State University. This is also the first time they’ve held this event in person since things closed down for COVID-19.

CMH has been working to expand its services and was able to serve 637 more people in 2022 than it did in previous years. Other measurements CMH included followed similar trends of reaching more people.

One of the keynote speakers was U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is the creator of community behavioral health clinics such as CMH.

A nationwide issue, with billions of federal dollars being distributed across the country to address mental health needs.

“Which means it’s not grants that stop and start, but it’s ongoing Medicaid funding, funding through the whole health care system,” said Stabenow.

All are part of a larger effort to have mental health care addressed just like physical health care.

“I’ve worked with the local leadership here to bring in federal dollars to build a new crisis stabilization center, to make sure that this new model, this way of providing services, is permanent,” said Stabenow.

CMH is in the process of expanding to the McLaren Greenlawn campus, working with Child and Family Charities to bring mental health services to the former hospital.

Paul Miller has been a client of CMH for 28 years and he said the diversity in services available has kept him coming back.

“It’s kind of thumb printed to how I like to do things and coordinate them in a way that fits my life really easy,” said Miller.

CMH hopes to continue reaching people like Miller, through additional funding and emerging programs.

Other new CMH programs include ‘Navigate’ for the early symptoms of psychosis, a free suicide prevention training called ‘QPR’, and a certified community behavioral health clinic. Navigate and QPR are not new but have started back up again after pauses caused by staffing shortages.

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