Mental Health Organization In A2 Making Structural Changes To Help More Residents

Dec 3, 2020

The Fresh Start Clubhouse in Ann Arbor is in the process of becoming an independent organization in order to offer mental health services to more residents in Washtenaw County.  

Fresh Start has cut ties with its parent agency Touchstone after the agency failed to reach a new service contract with the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health division, also known as CMH.  As Fresh Start transitions to an independent organization during the next year, CMH will fund its services.  Summer Berman is the director of Fresh Start.

Summer Berman: With the funding coming exclusively through the Community Mental Health system, that means that the people who are served also have to come from the Community Mental Health system.

By becoming an independent organization, Fresh Start will be able to accept other types of insurance, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, or no insurance at all.  Berman says private fundraising and grants will help keep the clubhouse operating when it becomes independent.  Fresh Start currently helps between 80 and 100 people a year.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him