By CYNTHIA KMETT
There’s a new Troy neighbor in the Northfield Hills corporate area. The Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) is now at 5505 Corporate Drive. The mission of this organization is to inspire hope, empower people, and strengthen communities. They serve those with developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and those hoping to be successful with substance recovery.
As owners of the building it now calls home, OCHN CEO Annette Downey notes that the organization will bring many of its services and providers to this new campus, which serves adults and children of many ages and needs. It is the county’s lifeline for those who may not have been able to find the help they need elsewhere.
OCHN is the public mental health system responsible for identifying, influencing, and delivering services and supports to approximately 26,000 Oakland County residents, including individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities, adults with mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and persons with substance use disorders. Most of these individuals receive Medicaid services, with some funding coming from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
OCHN’s current network of service providers includes organizations like Common Ground, Community Housing Network, Community Living Services, Community Network Services, Easterseals Michigan, Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, Oakland Family Services, and Training and Treatment Innovations. A complete list of substance use service providers is available at oaklandchn.org/.
Downey points out that OCHN’s programs are “people-centered,” and that they always want to focus on what they see as a great life for their participants.
“We believe in a good quality of life for all people,” she adds, “and that comes from support for affordable housing, a job, and the same quality of life we all hope for.”
But, not everyone has family and friends who can provide help when needed. OCHN plays a unique role in the provision of services to persons with developmental disabilities and/or severe, persistent mental illness. Instead of directly providing services, they offer funding to a variety of core service provider agencies that, in turn, make direct services available to the public.
OCHN also works with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.
The goal of OCHN is not only to provide treatment and services for people with mental and substance use disorders, but also to support the families of people with mental and substance use disorders, build strong and supportive communities, prevent costly behavioral health problems, and promote better health for all Americans.
Downey notes that OCHN likes to be proactive in providing services and helping to prevent hospitalization. She points to the new program, Hope Not Handcuffs, which offers screening, assessment, and resources for those who have substance abuse problems. You can access the program by walking into the Troy Police station and asking for help.
OCHN supports programs which reach children at an early age so they will learn the reasons to avoid substances like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, which can become addictive. However, Downey says it is not shameful to admit when you have an addiction problem. They have listening sessions where you can talk about your concerns and learn what priorities are for reaching help. And they are available to answer any of your questions.
Learn more about the services offered by the Oakland Community Health Network by calling 248-858- 1210 or visiting oaklandchn.org/.