707 W. Milwaukee Ave.
Detroit, Michigan 48202
For people in need – whether it’s a child with an intellectual or developmental disability, someone who has a mental health condition or a person with a substance use disorder – getting the right assistance is the key to helping them thrive. That’s where the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority comes in.
“We are a safety net for about 80,000 people in Detroit and Wayne County,” says Willie Brooks, President & CEO of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, which works with over 400 Providers to offer an array of support and services to those in need.
The Authority had been around as the largest community mental health provider in the state for over 50 years.
When it comes to care, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority aims at helping the whole person with his or her overall needs. To do so, they’ve adopted five pillars of holistic care, Brooks says, which includes social, economic, spiritual, physical and behavioral.
“We’re trying to look at a person from a holistic point of view,” he says. “We try very hard to focus on the individual and their needs. We talk a lot about inclusion. We use people-first language.”
That’s because the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority realizes that people are more than just their disabilities and struggles. “We look at ability and focus on resources that will make the person successful as a citizen in their community,” says Brooks.
Helping those with opioid addiction is among the many services offered through the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.
“The opioid epidemic is across the nation and, certainly here in Wayne County, it seems the numbers are increasing – and a lot of that has to do with the availability of drugs to teens and seniors,” Brooks says. “It can become a very deadly addictive.”
In an effort to help the community, the Authority trains people (first responders, law enforcement and community groups, to name a few) on how to administer Narcan, which is an opioid overdose reversal.
For those with mental illness, which impacts nearly 1 in 5 adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, Mental Health First-Aid Training is offered. People interested in this training simply need to reach out to the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority to schedule a time for the session.
“That is a comprehensive, eight hour course for anybody to recognize the signs of possible depression and suicide,” he says.
In addition to care for adults, the Authority offers a comprehensive children’s program. This means its experts are heavily involved in the schools, too, where they work with at-risk youth and families.
And when it comes to kids with physical, learning, language or behavioral delays, this organization strives to help parents find the resources they need to help their children overcome any obstacles they may face. Services include assessment, physical therapy, treatment planning and more.
“We work within a complex System of Care and if you’re a parent and you have a person with a disability, you just are not sure how to navigate the system,” Brooks says. “It’s like a multitude of people that help. It’s like a circle of support. And for anyone that needs help, we have a 24-hour helpline available to anyone, 800-241-4949.
For more information, visit the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority website.