What should Janet do now?
Janet called OnPointthe crisis hotline. OnPoint is Allegan County’s mental health agency (CMH). Two certified mental health professionals from OnPoint’s mobile crisis team met Janet and her son at their home to see how they could help. As the young boy calmed down and spoke to the OnPoint crisis team about what was going on at home, he shared that he was not getting along with Janet’s new boyfriend and was struggling with his parents’ divorce.
The OnPoint crisis team helped Janet and her son think of ways for him to express those deep feelings. They also helped Janet find a local counselor for her son so he could talk about his feelings regularly and learn more coping skills to avoid becoming aggressive.
By the time the crisis team left, the boy was smiling and telling stories.
Melissa Potvin, manager of OnPoint High Intensity Services“It is an act of trust on the part of people to contact us,” said Melissa Potvin, manager of OnPoint High-intensity Services. “We understand that inviting us into your home and your personal situations can be scary as it leaves you very vulnerable. People worry about what we’re going to do based on what we see and hear. But we have very clear parameters when it comes to engaging law enforcement and/or child protection services. That is a last resort.”
OnPoint’s Community Mental Health Mobile Crisis Intervention Program is available 24/7/365 with a supervisor and two clinicians available at all times. The purpose and purpose of this service is to help ease the burden on local law enforcement by taking on more cases related to mental and behavioral health (when appropriate and safe) and to eliminate emergency room visits for mental or behavioral health situations that do not. be treated well in a hospital.
“Our goal is to address the situations that are serious but not immediately life-threatening,” says Potvin. “This is for individuals who feel they have an immediate emotional or behavioral need and need support for themselves or their child.”
OnPoint is an organization that provides many different services to people living in Allegan County, not all of which fall under the category of mental health.
Mark Witte, CEO OnPoint“We also help people with substance use disorders, emotional issues, and homelessness,” said Mark Witte, CEO of OnPoint. “We always strive to be sharp and good to those we serve and ready to meet the needs of those in the community.”
The OnPoint staff takes pride in providing services that are easy to use. A person in the Allegan community calls the number and communicates that they want mental health help. That person will speak directly to an OnPoint representative who will ask basic questions about what that person is looking for and conduct a brief risk assessment to determine what they need. From there, the staff member will help the person schedule an intake appointment based on their needs to help them access the support they need to move forward – or send mobile crisis intervention. The most common types of calls OnPoint receives are adults struggling with depression or overwhelming anxiety – they don’t know what to do, but they know they need help.
“Most people we speak to struggle with hopelessness,” says Witte. “It doesn’t matter if it’s mild or severe, we help them find services to address that.”
Now OnPoint is expanding their services by expanding their Community Mental Health Mobile Crisis Intervention Program with federal grant funding, making OnPoint also a certified community behavioral health clinic. This allows them to work more closely with schools and children, as well as people in the community who have mild or moderate mental health needs.
“This grant money will expand our services and expand the number of people we can employ to provide them,” says Witte. “It gives us the opportunity to help more people within the community with a variety of mental and behavioral needs.”
If someone calls the crisis hotline, the OnPoint Phone Line Team answer that hotline. They meet the needs of the caller depending on the severity of the situation. Callers speak to an OnPoint supervisor or clinician first. When their needs can best be met in person, the mobile crisis intervention team comes to them.
In addition to promoting the crisis hotline, the OnPoint team works with the community to host local workshops Mental health first aid to spread the word about available resources.
For those who live in Allegan County and need assistance, OnPoint is completely free and requires no health insurance or financial information. More information is available on OnPoint’s website. The 24/7 Crisis Hotline numbers are 1-888-354-0596 or 1-269-673-0202.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
Kelsey Sanders is a wellness professional and freelance writer and editor. She has lived in West Michigan all her life and loves to learn and write about the many great things her area continues to do. When she is not working, she stays at home with her daughter and enjoys the lakeside with her husband.
Photos courtesy of OnPoint.