Oakland Together Mental Health and Wellbeing Non-profit Grants increase mental health Services to Oakland County residents

Oakland County has awarded 42 non-profit organizations nearly $8.5 million in Oakland Together Mental Health and Wellbeing Non-profit Grants to expand mental health services to Oakland County residents. The grants, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, are a response to the acute mental health challenges faced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter and Commissioner Penny Luebs joined the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Oakland Family Services, Centro Multicultural La Familia, and CNS Healthcare during a news announcement this week at the Pontiac office of Oakland Family Services.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in March 2020, we knew that there were significant challenges to providing mental health services to residents facing crisis. So, I’m thrilled that we’re getting these critical resources from the American Rescue Plan to providers of mental and behavioral health care services,” Coulter said.  “Mental health should be treated like physical health, and no one should be embarrassed or ashamed to get the help they need in these unprecedented times.”

An additional $1.2 million-plus will be shared with high performers among these 42 non-profit organizations.

“The Board has made an effort throughout the pandemic to ensure relevant services are getting to those who need it most, and this grant program is no exception,” Commissioner Penny Luebs said. “These organizations that provide mental health services to our residents are extremely valuable to our communities, and we were glad to have an opportunity to offer them this support.”

There are three levels of grants: operational grants from $50,000-$100,000, expansion grants from $100,001-$250,000, and community grants from $250,0001-$500,000. The United Way for Southeastern Michigan is administering the grants on behalf of Oakland County.

"Mental health services are a basic need that everyone should have access to. While lack of access was a problem even before the pandemic hit our region, the need has been amplified as we all continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19," said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president & CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "We are proud to once again partner with Oakland County to support the health and wellbeing of our community by facilitating access to this essential service."

Oakland Family Services, Centro Multicultural La Familia, and CNS Healthcare are three of the recipients who were on hand to share their stories and how their grant will impact Oakland County residents.

Oakland Family Services, which is celebrating 100 years of providing prevention, education and treatment programs that provide a safety net for individuals and families in the community, will use this grant to support and stabilize staffing in its Day One program. Day One provides mental health and substance use disorder treatment that, while always in demand, has become increasingly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This grant will help us face this challenging time of staff shortages and wage pressures, resulting in continuity of care for those in the community who need us most," said Oakland Family Services President & CEO Jaimie Clayton. "Oakland Family Services is very thankful for this grant and the support of Oakland County and United Way."

Centro Multicultural La Familia provides comprehensive services to a diverse community based in Pontiac with a mission to provide culturally competent support services to families in a holistic approach in order to improve their quality of life. They offer culturally and linguistically competent services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, parenting programs, advocacy, and community partnerships throughout Oakland county

“Access to needed mental health services can be life saving for those of whom English is not their first language, and our staff and clients are deeply grateful for this funding opportunity,” said Dr. Sonia Acosta, president and CEO of Centro Multicultural La Familia. This funding will allow us to provide much needed mental health and substance abuse services to our clients and families who have been disproportionately affected by the emotional stressors and losses produced by this COVID -19 pandemic.”

CNS Healthcare offers a broad spectrum of community-based mental health services, including psychiatry, group and individual therapy, substance use disorder services, and case management, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. CNS will utilize the grant to expand telehealth for patient mental health services. Specifically, the funding will be allocated towards patient’s access to mental health treatment by providing prepaid smartphone devices capable of telehealth (video/audio) and allowing for voice calls.

"An investment in the community and its well-being is always a positive move," said Michael Garrett, CEO of CNS Healthcare. "We appreciate the partnership to continue our work towards a better, stronger and healthier Oakland County."

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