LUDINGTON -- West Michigan Community Mental Health (WMCMH) is one of 18 behavioral health care systems in Michigan to share more than $54 million in federal funding to expand services.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has earmarked $4 million for WMCMH to continue its work as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) through 2022.

The local CMH was first awarded a CCBHC grant in October 2018. At the time, they were one of only four agencies in Michigan to receive the grant, which expands mental health services, substance use disorder services and physical health screenings to residents in Mason, Lake and Oceana counties.

The initial grant, which was also for $4 million, allowed WMCMH to improve access to behavioral health care services and serve an additional 200 people in the three-county area. The new grant, announced in April, was awarded earlier than originally expected to meet additional needs created by COVID-19.

"We anticipate serving an additional 650 people within the next two years of the grant," said Lisa Williams, CEO of West Michigan Community Mental Health. "As a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, our services are available to anyone regardless of whether they have private insurance, no insurance, Medicaid, Healthy Michigan or their ability to pay."

WMCMH will use the grant funding to increase access to substance use disorder treatment for children and adults; increase access to psychiatric services for persons with mild-to-moderate conditions and substance use disorders; focus on whole-person health and wellness through physical health screenings; and improve access to evidence-based treatment for trauma.

The funding also will allow WMCMH to continue with services made available through the initial grant in 2018. Those services include 24-hour mobile crisis; psychiatric rehabilitation; veterans' navigator; outpatient mental health and substance use disorder services; peer and family support services; primary care screenings; person and family centered treatment planning; targeted case management; and screenings, assessments and diagnosis.

"People in rural communities often have limited access to much-needed behavioral health care services," Williams said. "We are excited to use this grant money to increase and expand services to meet the needs of our local community."