EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a four-part series that will review the services available for mental health-related issues, including assessments, insurance and programs available in the area of the four county. The second part appears in the weekend edition of the Gazette.
HOUGHTON – A free public program on mental health services and community challenges, held Wednesday at the Portage Lake District Library, provides information on resources available to those seeking help or information on mental illness. and treatment.
Among the speakers was Mike Bach, who will soon hold the role of director of Copper Country Community Mental Health. He mentioned the services available through Copper Country Community Mental Health.
Bach said that in general, the treatment philosophy of CCMH is community care as opposed to custodial care.
“What do I mean by that,” he said, “Those decades ago, the expectation was that if someone had a serious mental illness or intellectual disability, that person would go to an institution and live there.”
Societal values have changed over the years, leading to the belief that people with mental illnesses should be allowed to live in a community with the same rights as those who do not suffer from mental illness or disability. .
“That’s a big move,” said Bach “and I think it’s a very good one.”
Bach said CCMH tries to help the people it serves in many ways: residential homes, community-based programs and outpatient services, along with other services that, he said, don’t fit very well into the other three categories. .
CCMH owns nine groups of homes in which it operates, Bach said.
Its group homes serve adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and/or mental illness who need help with daily activities and a structured living environment. People receive help 24 hours a day from trained staff.
Some of their residents were transferred from Newberry State Hospital when it closed in 1992, and several of the hospital’s former staff now work at CCMH.
Some of the patients, according to Bach, come from a locked institution to live in the community, where they can go to the movies or take walks.
“We give them individualized care,” as he. “Different people have different needs. We are not a nursing home, even if we have nurses available to help. ”
CCMH Community Support is a program for individuals with chronic mental illness. Community Support provides practical home and community assistance, with things like medication management, money management, grocery shopping and home care.
“We provide support for people who – perhaps if not for that level of support, at least in previous generations – would have been in an institution,” he said. Bach said.
CCMH can provide help with everything from keeping the apartment clean to keeping people out, to creating a budget and creating a grocery and shopping list.
Medication deliveries that ensure people can get to medical appointments are also part of the Community Support program.
“We can help people find work,” he continued. “We can help them volunteer. We had a group fishing for a while – there were so many different things we could offer.
Outpatient therapy offered by CCMH includes the provision of assessment and treatment services for adults with severe mental illness or children with serious emotional distress.
The type of help offered varies and can address family relationship problems, parent/child conflict, interpersonal-social conflict and symptoms related to depression, anxiety and other serious psychiatric problems. Services are provided at the Houghton, Calumet, L’Anse and Ontonagon offices.
“We’re trying to approach that from a trauma-aware aspect,” he said. Bach explains, “It means you know a lot of the people we serve have gone through different traumas, so we try to be sensitive to that and make that part of the treatment.”
At the core of a trauma-aware care approach is the motivation to make every patient feel safe and welcomed during a behavioral health treatment program, according to the Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute.
In a supportive environment, patients can focus on their treatment programs, and patients can progress toward recovery. While clinicians can always work to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for patients, there are specific points for clinicians to consider when implementing trauma-aware care.
“We have home -based programs for children who are at risk of being placed outside the home,” said Bach. “We also do prevention work. We also do a lot of work with people with co -morbidities, which means that in addition to a mental health diagnosis (a person) there is a diagnosis of substance use.
This approach helps people recover by offering mental health and substance abuse together.
“We provide psychiatric services,” he added, saying that today, CCMH provides treatment through tele-psychiatry.
“We’ve been working for a company for a few years and have a good relationship,” Bach said. “It’s always a challenge to keep up with (doctors), so we try to do it as much as we can.”
In addition, CCMH also has a physician’s assistant on staff, along with nurses and case managers.
CCMH Emergency Services is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people with mental health emergencies who need immediate help. These services include crisis intervention, assessment and prescreening for hospitalization.
“We were trying to make the decision (of) ‘Can this person go home with loved ones, with a follow-up plan?’ or ‘Does the person have to go to a psychiatric hospital to be admitted?’ ”
Bach always said, staff would call up to 24 hospitals and get 24 denials for an admission, so the next day the process would have to start again.
“That’s not a very good situation,” he said, “and that’s sadly a nationwide situation.”
CCMH also has a number of partner-managed services, including Peer Support Specialist Services. These services are provided to individuals who are on their own journey to recovery, who have a severe mental illness and are currently receiving or have received services from the public mental health system.
These specialists are hired to share their life experiences and provide skills to consumers that are unmatched by professional disciplines. They provide a wide range of services including health integration, benefits and housing assistance, community involvement, health education, and wellness promotion.
There is also a drop-in center in Hancock.
“We have people who have life experiences and work with parents, teenagers and up, as well as adults,” as he.
Other programs offered by CCMH include Nursing Home Services (OBRA/PASARR). The OBRA team works with area hospitals and nursing homes to identify and address the mental health needs of people living in long-term facilities.
The Psychosocial Rehabilitation program includes the Northern Lights Clubhouse, which provides services to members using the Clubhouse Model. Adult members with mental illness participated in a work -ordered day to operate on the clubhouse. Focusing on the strengths, talents and abilities of members provides opportunities to increase community independence.
For more information on Copper Country Community Mental Health programs and services, visit the CCMH website at https://www.cccmh.org/agency-information.