Who We Are
 

Citizens for Mental Health and Public Safety (CMHPS) is a group of concerned citizens advocating that the money allocated to the City of Ann Arbor from the November 2017 Mental Health and Public Safety Millage be used for public safety and mental health services for the residents of Ann Arbor.  Our work has broadened to encompass other policies affecting those living with a mental health condition.  Go to "About Us" for details.

How We Work — The Principles and Beliefs Undergirding Our Approach

  • Respect others and expect respect.

  • Listen non-judgmentally to others.

  • Treat others as telling the truth as they see it until others blatantly violate this trust.

  • People are sometimes mistaken in their factual beliefs.

  • Let others know we have heard what they have to say even if we do not agree.

  • Views and behavior change, including ours, with insights gained from experience and education.

  • Promoting respectful deliberation and dialogue among people and groups is constructive.

  • People in health care organizations overwhelmingly strive to provide excellent care.

  • The potential for improvement exists in all organizations.

What the City of Ann Arbor Should Do

Click here to go to a one-page summary of our position on the budget.​

Why We Are Hopeful

 

In our community we have a solid foundation of voters who recognize mental health and public safety services are important and intertwined.  Largely because of this, we have more resources — and very importantly, more flexible resources — to devote to improved mental health services than was the case in 2018 and prior years.  And we have leaders who recognize mental health and public safety services are important and intertwined.  Some of the details are listed below.

  • Three new, significant sources of funding have increased the capacity of Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (WCCMH) to provide services.  And very importantly, the new funds allow, and even require, WCCMH to increase its services to people not enrolled in Medicaid.  Prior to 2019 almost all of the funding for WCCMH came from Medicaid and served only those enrolled in Medicaid.

    • In late 2017 the voters in Washtenaw County overwhelmingly approved a one-mill eight-year County Mental Health & Public Safety Millage.  Revenues from the millage began to flow in late 2018 (FY 2019) and will continue through FY 2026.

    • WCCMH was approved as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) in late 2018 and began CCBHC service delivery in mid-2019.  WCCMH was an early applicant.  Its approval not long after the CCBHC demonstrations were first launched in mid-2017 put it in the forefront of the CCBHC movement.

    • Substantial federal stimulus funds have been appropriated to local units of government to ameliorate the negative effects of the pandemic and facilitate productive investments.

  • Discussion of improved public safety through greater use of unarmed crisis responders is on the agenda in both Washtenaw County and the City of Ann Arbor.  Many jurisdictions are not even considering it despite persuasive evidence that publicly sanctioned violence often does more harm than good.

  • In mid-2022 a new 3-digit number, 988, will be launched to provide 24/7 access to help for people experiencing a health crisis, with emphasis on mental health crises.  988 has the potential to be as ubiquitous for access to unarmed mental health care professionals as 911 is for fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and armed police officers.

While we share the feelings of urgency for constructive change, we recognize institutional change requires time.  Only a little over two years have passed since Millage and CCBHC funds became available.  The launch of 988 is still to come.  While much has been accomplished, much more is yet to come.  Our challenge is to continue this progress.

The Latest
City of Ann Arbor Officials Are In the Midst of Constructing the FY 2022/2023 Budget, Including Unarmed Crisis Response
 

Now is an excellent time to influence the nature of the City's FY 2023 Budget.  City officials are actively discussing the Budget, including the use of County Mental Health & Public Safety revenues and American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds.  The programmatic and appropriation decisions concerning unarmed crisis response will have a significant impact on whether people in crisis are treated as alleged lawbreakers in the legal/judicial system or as people who need comfort and therapeutic help.  The City Administrator will present his recommended budget on April 18.  The City Council will amend and adopt the budget on May 16.  You have time to affect decisions, especially if you act soon!  Please see the Summary of Our Position and the “What You Can Do” page for a guide to effective action.