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A History of Support

The Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency (Agency) was created pursuant to Michigan Law and the Michigan Mental Health Code.   The Agency had been in operation since October 1968 when the then Wayne County Board of Supervisors approved the joining of Wayne County (County) with the City of Detroit to create the Agency.  The former Agency (now known as the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is governed by a twelve (12) member Board of Directors, with six (6) directors nominated by the Mayor of the City of Detroit, and six (6) directors nominated by the Wayne County Chief Executive Officer.

The Executive Director is hired by the Board of Directors and is responsible for implementing all the functions of a community mental health services program as mandated by the Michigan Mental Health Code.

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) is responsible for managing specialty services for Consumers with or at risk for serious emotional disturbance (SED), severe mental illness (SMI), intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), substance abuse, and MIChild beneficiaries.  DWMHA manages a full array of specialty mental and substance abuse services through contracts with Managers of Comprehensive Networks (MCPNs); and in 2014, DWMHA assumed all Substance Use Disorder prevention, education and recovery programs, services and supports for all of Wayne County. 

Historically, the State of Michigan and the Authority financed and managed mental health and substance abuse services through individual contracts with providers.   Services were reimbursed through fee-for-service, net cost or grant contracts.   Federal and State mandates for greater accountability, improved access to care, and a need for a flexible and innovative service delivery system prompted the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to apply for a waiver. MDCH was granted the wavier October 1998.

MDCH grandfathered all Community Mental Health Service Providers (CMHSP) from October 1998 through September 2002.  Beginning October 1, 2001 all existing CMHSPs had to complete an Application for Participation (AFP) and satisfy to the State that it met the standards for delivery of services as a Specialty Prepaid Health Plan.  The Authority completed that process and on August 27, 2002, was selected to continue as the prepaid health plan for the Detroit-Wayne County area.

The Michigan Mental Health Code, Public Act 258 of 1974 has been amended In December of 2012 by Public Acts 375 and 376 of 2012, to require that in order to qualify for state support, a county that has situated totally within it a city having a population of at least 500,000 must establish or administer a community mental health services program as a community mental health authority; and pursuant to the Code, the Wayne County Commission has held three public hearings in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, as amended; and WHEREAS, consistent with the Code, under the Authority form of organization the consumers will continue to have the same rights, privileges, and benefits with respect to services, board membership and due process they currently possess.