State Rep. Ben Frederick today announced a new federal grant will help the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services expand a crisis counseling program for Michigan residents experiencing mental health effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $1.9 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide funding for an additional nine months of crisis counseling activities begun under a previous, short-term FEMA grant. It also allows for statewide expansion of behavioral health outreach services previously focused only in the Detroit metro area.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy on anyone’s mental health,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “There’s no doubt many people are experiencing stress, anxiety and other challenges due to the changes in community life and isolation which has been experienced in recent months. This program is meant as another line of support for anyone who is in need of help.”
The grant will expand the current Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program by providing more trained crisis counselors available for free counseling. Residents in need can reach the Michigan Stay Well crisis counseling line by calling the state’s COVID-19 hotline (888-535-6136) and pressing “8.”
In addition, the grant will increase the number of trained outreach specialists connecting with members of COVID-19-vulnerable population groups to provide guidance for healthy coping.
Existing outreach specialists will continue to serve seniors and older adults; children and families; healthcare providers and first responders. Additional specialists will be brought on to support unemployed residents; homeless or housing-insecure individuals; people with substance use disorder; school teachers and staff; and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other intellectual and developmental Disabilities.
Residents can visit Michigan.gov/StayWell to learn more about services and resources to help manage COVID-19 emotional distress.
State Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso this week joined the Michigan House in overwhelmingly approving a plan for the state’s new K-12 budget, with a 103-2 vote. He issued the following statement:
State Rep. Ben Frederick today said local medical facilities and other care providers are eligible to apply for grant funding to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.