Mental Health and Substance Use

Almost one in every five Americans has a diagnosed mental health condition. And nearly one in five of these people also have a co-occurring substance use disorder. While access to treatment in general has increased, many individuals still have unmet needs due to cost, wait times, service gaps, stigma, and unaddressed root causes.

In 2012, the WHI’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder (MHSUD) Work Group identified a significant gap in services for Washtenaw County residents with mild to moderate mental health concerns. Members of the group then designed and managed the three-year Tailored Mental Health Management and Support (TaMMS) pilot, which served 585 patients and significantly diminished their depression and anxiety.

The work group now leads the Washtenaw County Opioid Project, a collaborative group of community stakeholders working together to create local solutions to the opioid epidemic. The Washtenaw Health Initiative is also leading a county-wide ABLe Change process to identify and address the root causes contributing to substance use disorders in Washtenaw County.

The Center for Health and Research Transformation, backbone to the Washtenaw Health Initiative, expands on this work by providing technical assistance to the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Department as it seeks to expand mental health and substance use disorder services through a new millage, as well as the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office as it works with county stakeholders to reduce the number of inmates with mental health and substance use disorders and to connect them with treatment.