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.
Our vision at Community Mental Health of Ottawa County is to enhance the quality of life for all residents. Admittedly this is a lofty achievement, however, this statement reflects our belief that good mental health is vital to an individual’s overall well-being and to this community
as a whole. It is encouraging to see increased recognition of the importance of this concept and the growth of initiatives such as integrated health care and treating the “whole person.” This has been our philosophy at CMHOC for many years.
One of the ways we are helping to spread the word about the importance of good mental health is through our free Mental Health First Aid trainings made possible through millage funds. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour certification course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. Through this training, we are able to reach businesses, churches, and others to help them become familiar with mental health concerns and where to get help. We can tailor trainings to meet the needs of any interest including developmental disabilities, mental illness or substance abuse. More information about this program is available on our website.
Jo-Jo moved to Holland in 2004 and began going to the Drop-In Center,
where he’s made as much of an impact on the people there as the Center has made on him! Jo-Jo is a very positive person, and makes a point of
brightening the day of everyone he meets. He embraces all the Holland Drop-In Center has to offer — from the healthy living program that teaches good eating habits and more to his favorite: the men’s music group, in which they sing and discuss songs. He also loves to write poetry, and even had a poem published in the Center’s newsletter. Not surprisingly, Jo-Jo has made many friends at the Drop-In Center, and tells us that while he once was ashamed of his mental illness, he no longer feels that way.
Jo-Jo also works with our Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team whose goal is to help provide stability and support in daily life as a means to avoid crisis or hospitalization. Team members assist with things like doctor visits, medication, housing, healthy living habits and more. The ACT Team provides intensive supports and services in the community to help consumers achieve their recovery goals.
The ACT Team and Drop-In Center’s focus on coping and managing daily life has been especially helpful to Jo-Jo, and since he loves being around people, the social aspect of the Center is also very important to him.
Arturo Puckerin, Director of the Center, says it is where people can enjoy a stigma-free environment with social and recreational options, open to whoever wants to participate.
The fact that the staff has all been through similar circumstances allows them to have a greater understanding, and those receiving help feel the staff can relate to things they’re going through daily. This makes for a safe, comfortable environment, offering the support and resources that may be lacking in people’s lives.
OTTAWA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS NETWORK (OCSN)
This two-year pilot program is a partnership between the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) and CMH to coordinate resources and services within the school setting to remove barriers for students and families in need of assistance. The program launched with the 2017 school year and includes East Holland Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary (Zeeland), Venture Alternative High School (Zeeland) and Coopersville East and West Elementary.