Between May of 2019 and April of 2020, an additional 517 people received mental health services in Washtenaw County.
The Washtenaw County Community Mental Health division attributes the increase to a county millage (Public Safety and Mental Health Services) that voters approved in 2017 that helped expand mental health services. Trish Cortes is the executive director of the mental health division and says the millage generated over $3.2 million in 2019 that helped create the CARES program. A local program that provides mental health services to anyone in the county with or without medical insurance; it’s not associated with the federal CARES COVID-19 relief program.
Trish Cortes: We’ve also been able to have mental health professionals be located in communities that have historically had difficulty accessing mental health services.
Funds from the millage were also used for an anti-stigma campaign and to work with local law enforcement agencies to address mental health in jails. Cortes says the local demand for mental health services doubled from 200 to 400 people in July of 2020 because of the pandemic.
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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org