OnPoint executive director Mark Witte in one of OnPoint's facility's integrated consultation rooms.
Serving Allegan County, OnPoint
is one of 34 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in the state of Michigan
. Its community mental health effort in Allegan County is pushing forward, thanks to grants, resources, and its staff’s desire to help all those in need within Allegan's communities. OnPoint CEO Mark Witte answered a few questions about OnPoint, its services, and who its staff serves.
Mark Witte, OnPoint executive director.
Q. When did OnPoint become a CCBHC?
A. OnPoint received the initial two-year federal CCBHC grant in August 2021. We were extremely interested in the opportunity to expand services through the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic grant when they first appeared in late 2014. OnPoint did not apply right away, though, because it was not clear that there would be state or federal support to follow the two-year grant period. OnPoint didn’t want to widely expand services for two years only to restrict them again immediately thereafter. Our plan was to apply as soon as it was feasible for them to be sustained for the community.
We have applied for federal continuation funding intended to bridge the original grant and participation in the longer-term state CCBHC demonstration project. Recent federal policy changes allowed for earlier consideration to join the state project, so we are currently awaiting the results of the applications on both fronts. We believe it is likely that we will achieve our goal of uninterrupted CCBHC services in Allegan County because of these applications.
Q. Who can come to OnPoint for help?
A. Our services are truly available for everyone with a behavioral health need. No matter the level of severity or complexity, and no matter if the need comes by way of a crisis or is a long-standing need, OnPoint stands ready to assist every person who reaches out for help.
Q. What do people need to know before going to a CCBHC?
A. A CCBHC is not so much a “thing” to go to as it is a new way for OnPoint to respond to community needs. The “old” community mental health agency (CMH) is still here — serving the needs of people who rely on Medicaid and other public funding to deal with serious mental illness or intellectual/developmental disabilities. But the “new” CMH — enabled by CCBHC funding — is able to support the needs of literally everyone regardless of ability to pay for the costs of services.
The services the agency offers for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities is not changed due to the CCBHC grant. The traditional roles Michigan community mental health organizations have fulfilled in this space continues without significant change. The CCBHC funds essentially focus on mental health and addiction services.
Q. What else should people know about a CCBHC?
A. I think it’s more helpful to understand the CCBHC development as a new era rather than a new program or service. Honestly, in Michigan, being CCBHC doesn’t add all that many services. OnPoint has offered them for years. It’s just that not everyone could access them because of the requirements that came from state or federal laws, rules, and funding. What being a CCBHC adds is the ability to offer services to everyone who has a need, rather than turning people away for technical or financial reasons.
OnPoint staff and community leaders cut the ribbon to the organization's new facility.
Q. Has being a CCBHC improved OnPoint’s reach?
A. While it’s a little early to tell how successful it will be overall, we are optimistic but also realize that some community habits change slowly. We have definitely seen an uptick in access since starting the CCBHC journey. However, that happened mid-pandemic. So, we aren’t certain if the full impact of this change will be seen immediately.
Q. Who works at OnPoint?
A. OnPoint’s professional staff consists of social workers, counselors, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists. We also employ peer specialists who have personal experience with the services they offer. They serve as guides, mentors, and coaches for people the agency serves along the path of their involvement. All these staff are surrounded by teams of people who support their work with financial management, information technology, clerical supports, facility services, human resources, recipient rights, and organizational leadership. OnPoint has about 150 staff in total today. Our full build-out of staffing under the CCBHC model may push us a bit higher than that in time.
Q. Where is OnPoint located?
A. On May 8, 2023, OnPoint opened the doors of our new location
at 540 Jenner Drive (M-40) in the city of Allegan across the street from Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital
. The aim in locating there was to make the agency’s services more easily accessible and identifiable for people who may need to use them.
More about OnPoint
On Point is a community mental health agency offering individual and group counseling, medications, case management coordination, and outreach services. OnPoint serves people who need help with mental health needs like anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, substance use disorders, and more. Its staff works with schools, law enforcement, Allegan County Jail, health care providers, faith communities, government leadership, veteran organizations, and many more to help people access care.
OnPoint also invests a substantial amount of time into prevention and wellness services, much of it with youth to foster resilience and to promote positive social interaction and behavioral norms.
Kelsey Sanders is a wellness professional and freelance writer and editor. She has lived in West Michigan her whole life and loves learning and writing about the many great things her area continues to do. When she’s not working, she’s staying home with her baby girl and enjoying the Lakeshore with her husband.
Photos by Joanne Bailey-Boorsma.
OnPoint sign and rendering courtesy OnPoint.
The MI Mental Health series highlights the opportunities that Michigan's children, teens, and adults of all ages have to find the mental health help they need, when and where they need it. It is made possible with funding from the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, Center for Health and Research Transformation, Genesee Health System, Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, North Country CMH, Northern Lakes CMH Authority, OnPoint, Sanilac County CMH, St. Clair County CMH, Summit Pointe, and Washtenaw County CMH.
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