Citizens for Mental Health & Public Safety
Advocating for mental health funding in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County
Make your voice heard on how to spend the County Mental Health & Public Safety Millage funds
If you or someone you know needs immediate help with a mental health issue, call Washtenaw County Community Mental Health 24/7 Access/Crisis Services at 734-544-3050.
Serving Households With A Member Living With A Mental Health Condition: $4.0 million
A. Form a group that is advisory to City officials on how to gain access to the insights and views of those with a current or past experience
of living with a mental health condition: $0.1 million
While obvious once articulated, the fact is often unrecognized or ignored that those with a current or past experience of living with a mental health condition are among the best to provide accurate descriptions of the problems faced and to provide sensible ideas for solutions. City officials should make use of this expertise. A good place to start is to hire a team of consultants — at a modest, part-time stipend — to provide recommendations of people to contact for service on various boards and commissions. The team would likely need to address recruitment. The following are examples of City boards and commissions that would benefit from the knowledge and experience of those who are living with, or have lived with, a mental health condition.
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Board
Center of the City — Council of the Commons
Commission on Disability Issues
Coordinated Funding Leadership Team
Housing Affordability and Equity Task Force
Housing and Human Services Advisory Board
Human Rights Commission
Independent Community Police Oversight Commission
Park Advisory Commission
Recreation Advisory Commission
Urban County Executive Committee
Washtenaw County/City of Ann Arbor Community Corrections Advisory Board
The leaders of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washtenaw County (NAMI-WC) are a good resource as the City seeks applicants for the advisory group. The leaders of three groups within WCCMH are also a good resource: Consumer Advisory Council, Speakers Bureau, and Recipient Rights Advisory Committee.
B. Supportive Housing: $2.4 million
Stable, safe, secure, decent housing is a key ingredient in preventing the onset of serious mental illness and in lessening the severity of mental health conditions. This appropriation would enable increases in the supply of supportive housing. The total impact of these funds on the housing supply would be considerably greater than $1.9 million if the City were able to use it as leverage to get matching funds; this is likely. The associated services to residents, which are very important, are dealt with in a different section.
C. Bring the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and Deflection (LEADD) to the City of Ann Arbor: $1.5 million
The local version of LEADD, which is a nationally recognized program, began in October 2021 by the County as a pilot program in Ypsilanti Township. The following are quotes from the LEADD website (https://www.washtenaw.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1921)
“It’s about meeting them where they’re at, and recognizing that success looks different for different people … The hope is that by building a trusting and caring relationship with their case manager and having their basic needs met, they won't need to interface with law enforcement.
What makes LEADD so unique and powerful is it’s a collaborative effort between the prosecutor's office, the public defender's office, the sheriff's office and a case management provider.
The second key to LEADD is that it diverts individuals before they are even charged, while most traditional diversion programs begin after a person has been charged and has entered a plea.
… We’re not even introducing people into the criminal justice system, but instead connecting them with services…. Of course, a lot of these individuals will have been through the system before. But in some ways that just shows what doesn’t work for them.”
Working collaboratively with the County and seeking grant funds from the federal government and elsewhere, the City should fund the expansion of LEADD to City residents.
Click here to go to Programs Supporting Unarmed Crisis Response: $2.0 million
Click here to go to Programs Serving Children and Youth: $5.0 million
Click here to go to Programs Supporting All Three High Priority Areas: $4.0 million