Community Mental Health of Ottawa County partners with people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders and the broader community to improve lives and be a premier mental health agency in Michigan.
One of the things we value the most at Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMHOC) is diversity in the accomplishment of our mission. We strive to interact with all people in a dignified and respectful manner.
On a daily basis, we work with people of different races, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, abilities, and beliefs. Unfortunately, the past year has been plagued by national struggles related to prejudice and inequality for certain groups of people. Many of the individuals we serve know how painful it is to be marginalized in society.
At CMHOC and we do our best to embrace and celebrate these differences. Our programs such as the Drop In Center, Clubhouse, recovery housing and social recreational programs strive to build community and include all who want to participate. Through information sharing and advocacy we work to educate the public on disabilities, mental illness, and substance use to lessen the misunderstanding of mental health disorders.
We help people to fully participate in their communities and the individuals we work with thrive in situations where diversity is honored.My sincere appreciation goes out to the individuals we work with, the families who support them, the organizations we contract with, and our staff who successfully meet the challenges of diversity every day.
Since mid-March Community Mental Health Service Programs (CMHSP) throughout Michigan have greatly increased their use of telehealth services due to COVID-19 and the need to limit face-to-face interactions in accordance with the Stay Home/Stay Safe Executive Orders. CMHOC spearheaded a Telehealth Satisfaction survey from April-June, 2020 of 19 different CMHSPs throughout Michigan.
The Telehealth Satisfaction survey was sent to consumers of CMH services and providers of CMH services.A total of 1122 consumers of behavioral health services participated in the survey geared towards people who are receiving services through telehealth, of these respondents 90% reported they were receiving telehealth services. 70% of the respondents said they would be likely or very likely to use telehealth services instead of face-to-face services if available. The survey respondents ranked phone calls and teleconferencing as the most preferred treatment options to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic. One parent of a child receiving CMH services reported “it is easier to schedule a time that works for me and I don’t have to stress out about my child having a behavior in the office.”
A total of 985 providers of behavioral health services participated in the survey geared towards people who are providing services through telehealth, of these respondents 93% reported they were providing telehealth services. 67% of the respondents said telehealth was as effective or more effective than face-to-face services. 44% of respondents indicated no show rates or missed appointments were lower using telehealth and 40% of respondents indicate no show or missed appointment rates were the same using telehealth. One provider reported “telehealth has removed many barriers for consumers who have health, transportation, and scheduling issues. I have found using a virtual therapy platform has reduced the amount of missed appointments overall.”
The survey results indicate the strong desire of both consumers and providers to continue to use expanded telehealth practices in addition to traditional face-to-face treatment options. While some telehealth treatment options have been available in the past, recent changes have allowed behavioral health providers to utilize telehealth practices in novel and widespread ways. We appreciate the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) rapid response to expand the Medicaid mental health telehealth codes allowing Michigan’s public mental health system to adjust to new service delivery options and continue to provide essential behavioral health services to our consumers. It is our hope MDHHS will make permanent many of the regulatory changes that have helped expand telehealth and have improved access to quality care for our consumers.