The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration a $1.9 million Regular Services Program: Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant.
“As the pandemic continues, we know Michiganders are suffering stress, anxiety, and depression because of COVID-19,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said. “This grant will help to sustain critical behavioral health counseling and referral services for our residents most in need of support.”
The grant will fund crisis counseling activities for nine months, extending a previous, short-term grant, and allow expansion of behavioral health outreach services statewide. Services currently are available only in the Detroit metro area.
Nine new counselors will be added to the state’s COVID-19 hotline to provide referral information and emotional support.
Six additional outreach specialists will be added to connect with members of COVID-19-vulnerable population groups to provide guidance. These groups include the homeless, the unemployed, the intellectual and developmental disabled, immigrants, and people with Substance Use Disorder.
The specialists also will collaborate with neighborhood organizations and community mental health agencies in COVID-19 hot spots to expand media reach, host educational webinars, distribute tip sheets and psychoeducational materials, and host virtual town hall events.