Auburn Hills, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Township Launch Program for Mental Health

Auburn Hills, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Township Launch Program for Mental Health

(Oakland County, Aug. 8, 2021)

Auburn Hills, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Township – Local law enforcement in three Oakland  County  communities  are  launching  a  new  program  to  improve  mental  supports  when  responding to calls from individuals experiencing a crisis.

The  Co-response  Community  Outreach  (Core)  initiative,  spearheaded  by  the  Auburn  Hills, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Township municipal departments, contracts an  Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) licensed, mental health clinician to improve  services to and interactions with individuals experiencing a mental health or substance  use emergency.

“We’re extremely grateful for the vision of these three, proactive and responsive police  departments,” says Oakland Community Health Network’s (OCHN) Executive Director  and CEO, Dana Lasenby. “Their decision to initiate the Co-response  program  helps  ensure  that  people  living  in  their  communities  who  experience  a  mental  health  or  substance use crisis are connected to valuable, behavioral health supports.”

COVID-19  and  related  societal  shifts  have  resulted  in  increased  mental  health  and  substance use emergencies across Oakland County, the state, and the nation. Many of  the situations law enforcement are responding to require skills that only a trained, mental  health professional can provide.

“On  behalf  of  all  three  police  departments,  I  want  to  express  our  appreciation  to  Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for approving a $75,000 grant to help fund  the clinician position at OCHN, which is key to the program’s success, explains  Chief  Mark  Clemence  of  the  Birmingham  Police  Department.  “We’re  also  thankful  to  the  support  we  received  from  our  local,  elected  officials  who  unanimously  approved  the  interlocal agreements necessary to embark on this important community collaboration.”

Supports provided by the Co-response, mental health clinician include, but are not limited  to, case management consultation, crisis intervention, service coordination, and referrals  to public mental health or community resources.

“The Community Foundation is pleased to provide funds to the Co-response Community  Outreach initiative,” says Mariam Noland, president Community Foundation for Southeast  Michigan. “The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the mental health of so many  people  in  our  community.  We  applaud  the  Auburn  Hills,  Birmingham  and  Bloomfield  Township police departments for partnering with OCHN on a collaborative and creative  approach to protect and serve.”

The official start date for the OCHN Co-response clinician is Monday, August 9, 2021.  The work schedule established for this critical, community service role aligns with days and times identified by the three police departments for when there is a high frequency  of mental health or substance use crisis calls.

OCHN  leads  a  provider  service  network  that  assists  approximately  23,000 Oakland  County  citizens  at more  than  300  service  sites  across  the  county. People  who  receive  public mental health services through OCHN’s provider network include those who have  an  intellectual  or  developmental  disability,  mental  health  challenge,  or  substance  use  disorder. The majority of these individuals have Medicaid insurance coverage.

OCHN’s goal is to ensure these individuals are aware of and have access to services and  supports  that  will  improve  their  health  and  quality  of  life,  as  well  as  ensure  their  engagement in full community participation. Its mission to “inspire hope, empower people,  and strengthen communities” reflects an unyielding belief in a “Valuable System for  Valued  People.”  Programs  and  supports  provided  by  OCHN’s  service  network  are  available at www.oaklandchn.org

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