2020

Millage Impact Report

Washtenaw County Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage

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Teen and doctor talking
Woman offering comfort

2020. A year no one could have predicted.

It was a time filled with uncertainty and anxiety—as businesses shut down, plans were cancelled, and services halted.

But not at Washtenaw County Community Mental Health.

From the moment COVID-19 began to change our usual ways of living, the frontline staff at WCCMH continued to work as they had before—providing essential in-person services to those in need, including our most vulnerable citizens.

When mental health needs skyrocketed during the summer of 2020, the CARES team—our expanded team of mental health professionals made possible by the Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage—were there to answer the call.

We are one of a handful of Michigan counties with a millage that addresses community mental health needs. Whereas other counties continue to reel from the effects of COVID-19 on top of historic underfunding, our system of care has been able to improve mental health access and increase our capacity to respond—even through the toughest of times.

We are proud to present our millage impact report, highlighting accomplishments in a year like no other. And we look forward to continuing to expand our impact in subsequent years.

Thank you, Washtenaw County residents, for supporting the county's Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage.

Senior talking with doctor remotely

COVID-19

COVID-19 impacted the lives of Washtenaw County residents in a myriad of ways. The uncertainty of the pandemic caused much stress. Many measures were taken to reduce COVID-19 exposure for WCCMH clients, including telehealth and placing homeless individuals in private hotel rooms. We are grateful for millage funds that allow us to take these precautions to keep clients safe and healthy.

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Access and Crisis Services

WCCMH values the impact of crisis services and intervention for those in need. Being able to quickly respond when an individual is in crisis can save a life and buys time to connect the individual to long-term resources and care. Millage funding has enabled several strategies for crisis intervention that have undoubtedly improved the lives of residents.

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WCCMH meeeting

Prevention and Education

Prevention and education are essential for improving and maintaining the health and wellness of our community. These initiatives tackle root causes and upstream issues, which ultimately reduce costs and prevent adverse health outcomes by reaching those in need early. WCCMH values educating community members about how to recognize and respond to mental health crises and needs, as well as destigmatizing reaching out for help.

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Diversion

A key millage goal is connecting individuals in need to the right resources at the right time. Diversion efforts consist of moving people with behavioral health needs away from places like jail, detention centers, emergency rooms, and shelters—so that they can be better connected to community-based care and stay within their own homes and communities whenever possible.

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Food bank

Community Reentry

When people exit jail, they may require support to successfully reenter the community. Stable housing, employment, managed medication, and other unique needs all contribute to a person's successful reentry to the community. Reentry initiatives help reduce recidivism, the likelihood of someone returning to jail—allowing more families to stay together and, ultimately, saving taxpayers money.

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Integration

Integrating behavioral and physical health care helps people achieve their holistic needs. While integration promotes better care coordination between providers, it also often leads to greater client satisfaction, better health outcomes, and reduced health care expenditures. Several millage-funded initiatives promote partnerships that integrate client care across local organizations.

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homeless man with carboard cutout of home

Housing

Supportive and affordable housing is a challenge for many Washtenaw County residents. Securing housing can be particularly difficult for those exiting jail and transitioning back into the community, as well as those with mental health or substance use disorders. Accordingly, the millage is playing a key role in developing sustainable solutions to housing needs.

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2020 Millage
By the Numbers

See how millage dollars are funding local initiatives and partnerships and more information about those being served.

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Expanded services
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24/7 crisis center
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Youth supports
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Supportive housing
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Education and prevention
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Criminal justice diversion

$3.2 million

For service expansion

Funds that expand the reach of WCCMH to provide 24/7 support, further services and access to more residents and geographic areas in Washtenaw County.

9,326

Services offered by CARES

Services such as case management, medication reviews, nursing services, peer services, intake assessments, psychiatric evaluations, injections, and more.

$1.1 million

For community partners

Funds for local organizations to provide important programming and services that improve community mental health and create stronger linkages to WCCMH.