Senator Stabenow Announces Nearly $4 Million in Funding to Expand Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services in West Michigan

Friday, September 22, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today announced nearly $4,000,000 to expand mental health and substance use disorder services at four locations in communities across West Michigan. This funding builds on Senator Stabenow’s effort to transform the way we fund mental health and substance use disorder treatment in America through her signature Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. Since 2018, Michigan has received over $187 million in grant funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.

“Because of the hard work of so many of our community partners, our mental health care and addiction initiative is a proven success story,” said Stabenow. “In Michigan and across our country, we are finally transforming the way we deliver high-quality services in our communities, and the results are clear. Now more people who are struggling with mental health issues or addiction will get the treatment they need close to home.”

Three organizations will receive funding (per year for four years) to continue and expand services:

  • $1,000,000 Allegan County Community Mental Health Services
  • $999,794 Barry County Community Mental Health Authority
  • $1,000,000 Community Mental Health of Ottawa County

Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority will receive $1,000,000 per year for four years to establish a new clinic.

“In our transition from a traditional CMH agency in Michigan, the [IA] award is a critically important support for implementation of CCBHC in Allegan County,” said Mark Witte, Executive Director of OnPoint in Allegan County. “While CCBHC funds support much of the service delivery, the [IA] supports active, creative, and effective community outreach to the people who need services, and the resources allocated for project evaluation will assure that the programs are implemented as intended.”

“We were overjoyed to learn BCCMHA was awarded a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Improvement and Advancement (CCBHC–IA) grant. This grant will allow BCCMHA to build additional infrastructure and enhance existing services to meet the increased demand for services. It's a great day when you learn you will have a few more resources to help more people,” said Richard Thiemkey, Executive Director of Barry County Community Mental Health Authority.

“Community Mental Health of Ottawa is thrilled to be a recipient of the SAMHSA Improvement and Advancement grant to help expand and improve our CCBHC services. We are very thankful for Senator Stabenow’s efforts to advance the CCBHC initiative and her dedication to finding solutions for those individuals who experience mental health and substance use disorders and are struggling to find appropriate care,” said Lynne Doyle, Executive Director of Community Mental Health of Ottawa County.

Last year, Senator Stabenow led the passage of the transformational initiative to fully fund high-quality mental health and substance use disorder services through Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a program implemented and supported by SAMHSA. Due to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, every state and the District of Columbia can expand transformational behavioral health support to their residents. Michigan began participating in Stabenow’s behavioral health initiative in 2021. 

These Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are transforming community care by setting high-quality standards of care and then funding mental health and substance use disorder services as health care through Medicaid. This is the same successful structure used for federally qualified health centers.

In order to receive enhanced Medicaid funding, the clinics are required to provide crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use disorder, regardless of their ability to pay. Other high-quality services are required as well, including outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments, and diagnoses; and care coordination including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans’ groups.

The Department of Health and Human Services found that people who receive care at these clinics had:

  • 74% reduction in hospitalization
  • 68% reduction in visits to the emergency room
  • 33% decrease in homelessness

Also, 84% of these clinics either already provide direct services on site at elementary, middle, and high schools or plan to in the future.