Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders

The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders (MHSUD) Work Group is comprised of front-line workers and leaders from a range of Washtenaw County organizations that serve individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. Work group activities include providing a forum for members to discuss community health needs, the  interventions and initiatives work group members have designed to address them, and broader policy concerns.

Achievements

Several years ago, the WHI’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Work Group identified a significant gap in services for Washtenaw County residents with mild to moderate mental health concerns. Work group members designed the Tailored Mental Health Management and Support (TaMMS) Intervention to address this gap. The three-year pilot, designed and run by Dr. Gregory Dalack, chair of the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Marcia Valenstein, retired psychiatrist with the U-M Department of Psychiatry and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, significantly diminished anxiety and depression for hundreds of participants with mild to moderate mental health concerns. The safety net clinics involved in the pilot have continued to implement the model and work group members are promoting the model to other sites across the state.

The Washtenaw Frequent Users Systems Engagement (FUSE) pilot, which provided housing and coordinated primary and behavioral health care to over 100 chronically homeless individuals who were frequent users of crisis health services in the county, was adopted by the Washtenaw Health Initiative MHSUD group to better integrate required housing services with local health systems, insurers, and providers.

Ongoing work

The MHSUD Work Group meets every other month, convening researchers, practitioners, and funders to coordinate and monitor community activities designed to address mental health and substance use concerns. Currently, work group members are discussing the substance use disorder systems transformation initiative coordinated by the Washtenaw Health Initiative, Washtenaw Health Initiative Opioid Project goals, and more.

Members

The Washtenaw Health Initiative’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Work Group includes representatives from Avalon Housing, the Corner Health Center, Dawn Farm, the University of Michigan Complex Care Management Program, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, University of Michigan Health System, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, and more.

For more information, contact:

  • Curtis Thornton (co-chair), clinical director, Home of New Vision
  • Katrina Bozada (co-chair), assistant director, University of Michigan Psychiatric Emergency Services
  • Matt Hill (staff representative), SUD program manager, Washtenaw Health Initiative and Center for Health and Research Transformation hillmat@med.umich.edu