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Stevens acquires $$$ for mental health effort

By Lisa Brody

Funding for an interlocal mental health co-response team between the Bloomfield Township, Birmingham and Auburn Hills police departments and the Oakland County Community Health Network was secured by Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Auburn Hills), her office announced on Tuesday, July 13.

Stevens secured $260,000 in funding for the co-response program, part of nearly $18 million in federal funding for 10 communities for Michigan's 11th district. Bloomfield Township Police Chief Phil Langmeyer had informed the township board of trustees that start up costs are $45,000 per agency, and then were anticipated to be $34,000 a year plus wages.

The interlocal mental health co-response team between the three police departments was approved by the three municipalities this spring. The mental health co-response program will partner with Oakland County Community Health Network with a dedicated social worker, full time, embedded who is more familiar with resources to help residents in the three communities. The individual will be assigned exclusively to the three communities on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays form 2 to 10 p.m. when they are busiest, and provide followup.

Stevens office noted that according to reported studies, approximately 10 percent of all police calls for service involve a person living with a serious mental illness, and overwhelmingly, the police are the sole first responders sent to assist those in a mental health crisis in the community.

“This federal funding will facilitate the hiring of two mental health clinicians who will be contracted by the three participating agencies from OCHN,” spokesperson Larkin Parker said. “It will also provide a vehicle and communication equipment for the clinician so that they can have flexibility to move about freely among the three communities, to respond to crisis situations and follow-up with families, the hospitals, and courts. Funding will also provide much needed Crisis Intervention Team training and Mental Health First Aid training to 100 percent of all sworn police officers in all three agencies (150 police officers).”

“I am thrilled to announce that so many community projects ranging from infrastructure, to funding for police departments to the construction of new public spaces for seniors and families to use in Michigan’s 11th District will now be fully funded,” said Stevens in announcing project funding for the district. “My staff and I have been working for months with mayors, township supervisors, local and statewide elected officials from both parties to determine the greatest needs in our communities. Every community project that was identified and submitted to the House Appropriations Committee was funded. When we invest in our communities, they thrive, and this funding will impact countless lives throughout our district.”


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