News Flash

Posted on: November 1, 2023

Millage Advisory Committee approves additional funding for the Washtenaw Health Project

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The Millage Advisory Committee approved additional funding for the Washtenaw Health Project. $165,000 in funding will allow the Washtenaw Health Project to continue and expand efforts to ensure mental health care is accessible to all, particularly those w...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: November 1, 2023

$4 million in federal funds stretch millage dollars and enhance services

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Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator for the State of Michigan since 2001, grew up in rural Michigan with a father who experienced bipolar symptoms. Like many of those without access to mental health support, Stabenow’s father and family struggled.

When ...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 22, 2023

Millage Advisory Committee approves funding for 5 Healthy Towns mental health initiative

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In February, the millage approved a one-year pilot grant for 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF), a foundation dedicated to improving personal and community wellness in five rural Michigan  communities (Chelsea, Dexter, Gr...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: May 26, 2023

Washtenaw County Community Mental Health hires new youth and families wraparound facilitator

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Finding mental health and substance use support for children and teens can overwhelm and frustrate families. The more organizations involved, the more challenging it becomes. Often, families that are going through an incredibly challenging time aren’t awa...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: May 15, 2023

Michigan Ability Partners works to decrease homelessness in Washtenaw County

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“There's a lot of need. We see that every day” says Jan Little, Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Ability Partners, a housing agency in Washtenaw county.  “But we also see progress. We see the numbers going down on the [county’s Community Housi...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: May 15, 2023

Washtenaw County housing agencies expand services following millage funding project

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In 2019, four local housing agencies were awarded a total of $1.2 million in funding from Washtenaw County’s Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation millage to increase supportive housing and services for youth and adults contending with mental healt...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 15, 2022

Washtenaw County's crisis response team offers in person support

Emily Scheitz, a crisis response professional at Washtenaw County Community Mental Health

We sat down with Emily Scheitz from the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health crisis response team to learn about the unique way it serves the county, and the team’s plans for the future.

The crisis team provides 24/7 crisis mental health care to everyo...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 29, 2022

Thanks to millage funding, new positions at WCCMH and partner agencies help meet community needs

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By Kimberly Snodgrass

From reentry support staff to peer support specialists, Washtenaw County’s Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation millage has funded community-based positions since 2019. These highly specialized posit...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 29, 2022

The national 988 Lifeline for mental health launched. What does that mean for Washtenaw?

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By Gregory Powers

Launched in July 2022, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national behavioral health initiative, backed by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The 24/7 line is desi...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: March 29, 2022

With greater resources from millage, WCCMH becomes access point for substance use referrals

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By Gregory Powers

In Washtenaw County, there’s a phone number for individuals seeking substance use support—a 24/7 hotline that gives people access to an immediate screening, referral to a community provider, or guidance on how to get connected to services...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 14, 2021

Millage partners with 5 Healthy Towns to tackle mental health needs of western Washtenaw County

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When it comes to health and wellness programs and services, Washtenaw County is typically viewed as a “resource rich” community—home to two major health systems and a robust collection of social service organizations.

Many of these organizations have simil...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 14, 2021

Millage funds an expansion of the mobile crisis team to partner with the Chelsea Police Department

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When the mental health and public safety millage began funding services in Washtenaw County, a key goal was increasing access for rural residents.

While the eastern part of Washtenaw County is urban, the western part is mainly agricultural and rural. Chels...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: September 14, 2021

Fostering hope, peer support specialists are helping people on their journey to recovery

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There aren’t too many job applications where checking the box for a criminal history or a mental illness or a history of addiction would give you an edge. But for peer-support specialists, it’s a decided advantage. 

Valerie Bass, who has ...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: June 18, 2021

Not just a bed. Millage funds shelters, staff to help residents get and stay healthy

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For Avalon Housing, the millage has funded support services at Hickory Way, a residential community that offers easy access to transportation and amenities for those who have experienced chronic homelessness.

Each apartment at Hickory Way is meant...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: June 18, 2021

County hospital visits decrease as millage-funded programs ramp up

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Recently, Dr. Victor Hong, medical director of psychiatric emergency services (PES) at Michigan Medicine, contacted the millage-funded CARES team at Washtenaw County Community Mental Health. He had been notified that an individual in the community showed ...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: June 18, 2021

Millage fuels partnerships with community-based organizations, schools, and police

Agencies partner to help WC residents

Since the implementation of Washtenaw County’s voter-approved Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage in January of 2019, meaningful partnerships have flourished across the county. These partnerships expand access to mental health and substan...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: June 18, 2021

Millage-funded CARES team: serving all residents, regardless of insurance status

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Mental health care access for everybody–no matter what their insurance status is.

This was an ambitious goal of Washtenaw County’s Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage, which residents passed two-to-one, ensuring that everyone in o...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: June 18, 2021

Independent, reliable cash: Millage allows Washtenaw County to address local needs

Downtown Ypsilanti

When JFK signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963, community-based mental health and substance use treatment options began to spring up across the U.S. These new programs allowed people with significant mental illnesses and developmental disabilitie...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: February 18, 2021

The expected--and the unexpected--impact of a room and phone

A motel room at night. The bed, phone, and light are visible.

Across the U.S. nearly 1.4 million people rely on homeless shelters and transitional housing programs each year. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, health and social service agencies across the nation--some well, and others poorly--employed...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: February 18, 2021

County jail expands use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder

Black mail doctor reaching across the table to comfort a patient.

Nationally, about 80 percent of people in jail abuse alcohol or drugs. About half are considered clinically addicted. Oftentimes, substance use plays a direct or indirect role in a person’s jail time–which is why access to treatment is so important for bo...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: February 18, 2021

WCCMH Black Lives Matter Task Force

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On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd’s death at the hands of police led hundreds of thousands of people throughout the nation to join the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. While the BLM movement is broad, it essentially seeks to eradicate systemic racism thro...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: February 17, 2021

A Q&A with CARES Team Access Supervisor Shannon Ellis

Social worker Shannon Ellis smiles at the camera from her desk in Ypsilanti.

The CARES team is a group of mental health professionals funded by Washtenaw County's voter-approved Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage on May 1, 2019 when services were expanded to all residents, regardless of insurance status or severi...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: October 26, 2020

COVID-era telehealth expansion brings both improvements and challenges

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The coronavirus pandemic has created hundreds of complicated challenges--from an increased strain on the U.S. Postal System to delays in needed health care services. But the coronavirus pandemic has also spurred solutions, including a dramatic uptick in t...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: October 26, 2020

In Washtenaw County, millage helps mitigate the impact of COVID-19

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From economic strains to a now six-month period of isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend daily life. In Washtenaw County, “the unsurprising result,” as Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder reports for Concentrate, is “an uptick in stress, anxiety, depres...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: October 9, 2019

For Washtenaw County residents, mental health services are just a phone call away

Illustration of a hand holding a phone with the number 734-544-3050 on it

Thanks to the Washtenaw County Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage, all Washtenaw County residents can get help 24/7 for depression, anxiety, addiction, and more. And receiving aid is as easy as calling 734-544-3050.

As Erin Spanier report...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: May 1, 2020

Mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Washtenaw County Community Mental Health is continuing to provide essential services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our 24/7 CARES line, expanded with funding from the Washtenaw County Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage in 20...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 9, 2019

Four local agencies receive millage-funded supportive housing contracts

Image of a wooden block shaped like a house with a heart leaning against it.

Four local agencies have been awarded millage contracts to enhance supportive housing for youth and adults with mental health and substance use concerns. 

“One of the key recommendations made by Washtenaw County’s Community Mental Health Advisory ...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 9, 2019

Coming soon: Washtenaw County crisis observation and assessment center

Photo of crisis center peer support specialist Jackie Campbell

In an unassuming brick building just down the street from the Washtenaw County Health Department in Ypsilanti a new community resource is in the final stages of development. It’s an observation and assessment center for individuals in crisis--one that com...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 9, 2019

NAMI Washtenaw receives millage contract for outreach in underserved communities

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A Public Safety and Mental Health Millage Contract of $158,000 has been awarded to NAMI Washtenaw County (NAMI WC) to design and implement a mental health education and outreach program for youth and families in the under-served communities of Ypsilanti, ...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 27, 2019

Millage-funded therapeutic groups forming

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Thanks to millage funding, our CARES team staff members are offering four new group therapy options for Washtenaw County residents. These groups are for everyone in the community--regardless of insurance or severity of need. Additional groups will be adde...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 27, 2019

Millage funds rural service delivery expansion

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As of July 1, the CARES team had received 250 outpatient service referrals from Ypsilanti (115), Ann Arbor (88), Saline (11), Dexter (6), Whitmore Lake (5), Chelsea (3), and Milan (3).

While most of the referrals are currently coming from the county’s urba...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 27, 2019

Underfunding and deficit reduction

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Due to underfunding by the state and federal government of Michigan’s community mental health system—behavioral health services for low-income individuals and those with severe and persistent mental illnesses, emotional disturbances, and developmental dis...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: August 27, 2019

Millage-funded staff work to meet countywide demand

Nurse holding heart in hands

A countywide mental health and substance use disorder service expansion--particularly for historically underserved populations across Washtenaw--has been a key priority for millage investments from the start.

As such, when millage funds first became availa...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: April 25, 2019

Millage will allow WCCMH to train trainers in mental health first aid

First aid kit

While many of us know how to administer first aid for health conditions, few of us are trained to provide similar help for those experiencing a mental health or substance use related crisis. To build community capacity, WCCMH regularly offers Mental Healt...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: March 30, 2019

Announcing millage-funded countywide service expansion

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On May 1, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (WCCMH) will extend services and service-navigation assistance to all county residents who are unable to secure community-based mental health and substance use services, regardless of their insurance type...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion
Posted on: December 18, 2018

Plans for initial millage investments

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At their October 3 meeting, Washtenaw County Commissioners approved 11 recommendations from the Community Mental Health Advisory Council (CMHAC) regarding early priorities for the county’s mental health millage investments.

Washtenaw County Community Menta...

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Community Mental Health - Service Expansion