Mental Health Resources Described | News, Sports, Jobs

Mike Bach, soon to take on the role of director of Copper Country Community Mental Health, speaks during a public program Wednesday at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. Bach spoke about the services offered by the organization. Bach was one of six presenters representing four local organizations focused on mental health in the four county area.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a four-part series that will explore the services available for mental health issues, including assessments, insurance and programs available in the four county area. . The second part will appear in the weekend edition of the Gazette.

HOUGHTON – A free public program on mental health services and challenges in the community, conducted Wednesday at the Portage Lake District Library, provided information on resources available for those seeking help or information about mental illness and treatment.

Speakers included Mike Bach, who will soon assume the role of Director of Copper Country Community Mental Health. He discussed the services available through Copper Country Community Mental Health.

Bach said that overall, CCMH’s treatment philosophy is community care versus custodial care.

“What I Mean By That” he said, “It’s that decades ago it was expected that if someone had a serious mental illness or intellectual disability, that person would go to an institution and live there.”

Society’s values ​​have changed over the years, evolving towards the belief that people with mental disorders should be allowed to live in the community with the same rights as those without an illness or disability. mental.

“It’s a major change,” says Bach, “and I think it’s really good.”

Bach said CCMH tries to help the people it serves in several ways: residences, community programs, and outpatient services, along with other services that he says don’t mesh well with the other three. categories.

CCMH has nine group homes that it operates, Bach said.

Its group homes serve adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and/or mental illness who require assistance with daily activities and a structured living environment. People are supported 24 hours a day by trained staff.

Some of their residents were transferred from Newberry State Hospital when it closed in 1992, and a number of former staff from that hospital now work for CCMH.

Some of the patients, Bach said, have moved from a closed institution to life in the community, where they can go to movies or take walks.

“We give them individualized care” he said. “Different people have different needs. We are not a nursing home, although we do have nurses available to assist you.

CCMH Community Support is a program for people with persistent mental illness. Community Support provides hands-on help in the home and community, including medication management, money management, grocery shopping, and housekeeping.

“We provide support to people who – probably without this level of support, at least in past generations – would have been in an institution,” says Bach.

CCMH can provide help with everything from keeping an apartment clean so people don’t get evicted, to developing a budget and preparing a grocery and shopping list.

Medicine deliveries to get people to medical appointments are also part of the community support program.

“We can help people find work” He continued. “We can help them by volunteering. We had a group going fishing for a while – we can offer a lot of different things.

Outpatient therapy offered by CCMH includes the provision of assessment and treatment services for adults with serious mental illness or children who have serious emotional problems.

The type of help offered varies and can address family relationship issues, parent/child conflict, interpersonal and social conflict, and symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and other acute psychiatric problems. Services are offered at offices in Houghton, Calumet, L’Anse and Ontonagon.

“We’re trying to approach this from a trauma-informed perspective,” Bach explained, “That means you know a lot of the people we serve have gone through various traumas, so we try to be sensitive to that and make that part of the treatment.”

At the heart of a trauma-informed approach to care is the motivation for each patient to 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 towards recovery. While clinicians can always work to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for patients, there are specific points clinicians need to consider when implementing trauma-informed care.

“We have home-based programs for children at risk of being placed out of the home,” says Bach. “We also do prevention work. We also work a lot with people with concurrent disorders, which means that in addition to a mental health diagnosis (a person) has a substance use diagnosis.

This approach helps people recover by providing mental health and addictions treatment together.

“We offer psychiatric services” he added, saying that at this time CCMH is providing telepsychiatric treatment.

“We have worked with a company for several years and have a good relationship”, says Bach. “It’s always a challenge to keep (doctors), so we try to do the best we can.”

Additionally, CCMH also has a physician assistant on staff, as well as nurses and case managers.

CCMH’s emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people with a mental health emergency requiring immediate assistance. These services include crisis intervention, pre-hospitalization screening and assessment.

“We’re trying to make the decision (of) ‘Can this person go home with their loved ones, with a follow-up plan?’ or “Does the person have to go to a psychiatric hospital to be admitted?”

Bach said frequently staff will call up to 24 hospitals and get 24 admissions refused, so the next day this process must be repeated.

“It’s not a very good situation” he said, “And that’s unfortunately a national situation.”

CCMH also offers a number of peer-led services, including peer support specialist services. These services are provided by people who are on their own journey of recovery, who have a serious mental illness and who are receiving or have received services from the public mental health system.

These specialists are hired to share their life experiences and provide consumers with expertise that professional disciplines cannot replicate. They offer a wide range of services including health integration, benefit and housing support, community inclusion, health education and recovery promotion.

There is also the visitor center at Hancock.

“We have people who have lived experience and work with parents, teens and up, as well as adults,” he said.

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 residing in long-term facilities.

The psychosocial rehabilitation program includes the Northern Lights Clubhouse, which provides services to members using the Clubhouse model. Members who are adults with mental illness are involved in an orderly working day to operate the lodge. Focusing on the strengths, talents and abilities of members provides opportunities to increase their independence within the community.

For more information on Copper Country community mental health programs and services, visit the CCMH website at

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