CHELSEA – St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea announced that it has received a $625,000 Mental Health Awareness and Training (MHAT) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and a $500,000 gift from local resident and former patient Scott Baird and his wife Janice. The combined $1,125,000 in additional funding will support the expansion of the Behavioral Health Services offered by the hospital to residents of Chelsea and surrounding communities, including Dexter, Stockbridge, Manchester and Grass Lakes. In particular the MHAT grant will provide mental health training to more than 2,500 members of the community over the next five years.
“We know that mental illness is often overlooked and dismissed and that more can be done to help those suffering in our community,” said Nancy Graebner-Sundling, president of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. “To have the support of Scott and Janice in this effort, especially given Scott’s own health journey, is inspiring to all of us that have come to know him and his story. Along with the MHAT grant, the Baird’s are going to be making a significant impact in our community. We are going to reach more people and provide them with the education and support they need to live healthier, fuller lives.”
Barriers to mental health care access is a significant issue facing many Americans. More than half of adults with mental illness in the United States do not receive mental health care treatment. Mental health issues are far more common than most people realize. According to 2019 research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 1.3 million Michiganders have a mental health condition. About 38 percent of these individuals (and 80 percent of those with substance use disorders) for various reasons are not receiving care. It is believed that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 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 and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families. In particular the MHAT grant program prepares and trains community members and first responders on how to appropriately and safely respond to individuals with mental disorders.
St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea’s Community Health Improvement team and SRSLY coalitions will utilize the MHAT grant to develop and implement evidence-based mental health awareness training, including Question Persuade Refer (QPR) for youth and adults, Teen Mental Health First Aid (a peer program designed for teens), Youth Mental Health First Aid (a program for adults who work with youth), and Mental Health First Aid (a program for adults to recognize mental health concerns in other adults). The trainings will be available to adults and teens who work with youth, parents, grandparents and caregivers and teens. The grant will also identify resources and support available for mental health, establish referral mechanisms to link youth to mental health services and support youth in developing a stigma reduction campaign.
After surviving prostate cancer and losing a significant amount of weight, Scott Baird decided to seek additional help through St. Joe’s Chelsea’s Behavioral Health Services Department. He has since benefited from therapy as well as services from an Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) coach, life coach and wellness coach. Today, Scott who is a longtime Chelsea resident and raised his daughters in the community, has never felt happier, healthier or more connected to his friends and neighbors. He is a moderator and peer support mentor for ADHD; remains committed to maintaining a healthy weight; and rides his electric bike 12 miles a day.
“I know my gifts to St. Joe’s Chelsea are making a difference for patients and giving back has been a key part of my own healing journey,” said Scott. “I want to ensure that the programs that helped change my life are available to others who are in need of support.”
Giving has been an important part of Scott’s healing process. Following his 2018 battle with prostate cancer he and his wife Janice began their philanthropic giving to St. Joe’s Chelsea by making a gift to support Radiation Oncology Services. The couple then began their ongoing support of St. Joe’s Chelsea Diabetes Prevention Program in 2019. Since, they also made gifts to provide patient amenities in the Cancer Center, helped with COVID relief efforts and began their philanthropic support of St. Joe’s Chelsea Behavioral Health Services.
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About St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea
St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea (SJMC) is a not-for-profit joint venture hospital, whose partners are Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, a member of national Catholic health care system Trinity Health based in Livonia, Mich., and Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan. Founded in 1970, SJMC is nationally recognized for both quality of care and patient satisfaction by national ranking organization Press Ganey, and is accredited by the Joint Commission. SJMC employs more than 1,200 individuals with a medical staff of approximately 700 physicians. Key services include robust medical and surgical service lines, eight operating rooms, a 24-hour emergency department and senior emergency room, a state-of-the-art cancer center, a physical medicine and rehabilitation department, a comprehensive head pain treatment unit and behavioral health services.
For additional information about SJMC, please visit www.stjoeschelsea.org.