CARF Accreditation

To reinforce the value of accreditation throughout the term and to enhance the quality of services and the lives of persons served, each organization with CARF International-accredited programs has to submit an Annual Conformance to Quality Report (ACQR) to CARF, which is due on each anniversary date of the organization’s current accreditation term and reaffirms the organization’s conformance to the applicable standards.  Under CARF Accreditation Condition #4, submission of the ACQR is required to maintain accredited status. 

The ACQR recognizes each organization’s commitment to ongoing conformance to the CARF International standards throughout the accreditation term and is consistent with the CARF standards manuals, which state, “In order to retain accreditation, organizations and their accredited programs must at all times conform to CARF’s standards, satisfy the CARF Accreditation Conditions, and comply with CARF’s policies and procedures, as changes are published and made effective from time to time.” 

The ACQR helps each organization manage risk by prompting it to review its practices to confirm that it is still in step with the quality- and consumer-focused outcomes.  The ACQR document itself can help serve as a checklist for an organization’s leadership and staff to monitor progress in its quality improvement. 

The ACQR is consistent with typical business practices for accountability and the trend to extend public trust and it delivers a strong statement when signed by the organization’s leadership.  It is a public reaffirmation that the organization continues to conform to the CARF International standards even after the survey.  An organization that regularly reviews and implements changes in the standards is better prepared for its next survey.  The Communication also helps CARF plan the next survey to match each organization’s unique situation.

Gogebic CMH recently submitted the annual ACQR to CARF and have received CARF’s acknowledgment of the agency’s formal commitment to ongoing conformance to the CARF International standards throughout the agency’s accreditation term as a means of maintaining quality services; CARF also recognizes CMH’s efforts to provide quality services to persons that are served.  In addition, the agency received the annual conformance Gold Seal that has been placed on the original Accreditation Certification from the 2016 survey.

Community Mental Health rally held at Sunday Lake

By IAN MINIELLY WAKEFIELD — Community Mental Health in Wakefield held its sixth annual Walk a Mile in My Shoes Rally Wednesday. The rally was at the Sunday Lake Pavilion the first three years, but with the inconsistency of the local weather, organizers decided a new venue was necessary and VFW Post 9084 in Wakefield was generous enough to allow the event in its quarters, said Angela Pope, of CMH. The rally focused on: —Educating legislators why mental health matters. —Ending mental illness and intellectual developmental disabilities stigmas. —Educating other folks about the necessity for parity in spending for mental health with physical health care. —Promoting mental health wellness. Pope said many local students were instrumental in arranging the building and preparing for visitors and guests. The Bessemer Peer to Peer students and WakefieldMarenisco Honors Society, in conjunction with CMH staff, decorated the VFW and prepared the location to host around 200 people. Students from Luther L. Wright and Bluff View Christian also had a hand in making the event a success, said Pope. The walls of the VFW were adorned with this year’s crop of freshly drawn placemats by area students. Community Mental Health selects one winner from the hand-drawn placemats to adorn the next year’s giveaway. After a symbolic walk to the gas station and back, guests were treated to a light lunch.

Community Mental Health plans 6th annual ‘Walk a Mile’ in My Shoes’ Rally

WAKEFIELD — May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month and Gogebic Community Mental Health’s Anti-Stigma Committee continues their efforts to end the stigma associated with mental illnesses and intellectual/developmental disabilities. CMH is planning their sixth annual “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” rally, following the lead of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards. MACMHB, the educational and political arm of mental health programs in the state, just held their 13th annual rally on May 10, at the Capitol Building in Lansing. Nearly 1,000 people participated in their rally, including advocates from Michigan’s 83 counties, state legislators, mental health and developmental disability workers, and all provided statements related to supporting persons with disabilities and providing opportunities for recovery, self-determination, and community integration. Because of the travel distance to Lansing, CMH continues to plan their own rally in Gogebic County, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at the Wakefield V.F.W. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the rally will start at 10:30 a.m. One in five adults and one in ten children will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their life, yet many of them cannot or chose not to access the treatment they need. Statistics also show that 10 percent of children and adolescents suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day to day lives at home, school, and with peers. The Walk A Mile event is held to help raise awareness of the (harmful) effects stigma associated with mental illness and disabilities has, and for everyone to accept individuals for who they are, and to focus on abilities, not disabilities. Ann Dahlin and her mom, Lorraine, and Amy Mattson are the featured speakers for this year’s event. The Dahlin’s are from Bessemer and will share their story regarding the positive experiences they had working collaboratively with different community organizations that assisted Ann with securing employment. Ms. Mattson, originally from Wakefield and now living and working in Wisconsin, will also share her recovery story. Bob Sheehan, Executive Director of MACMHB (Lansing), and Bill Slavin, CEO of NorthCare Network (Marquette) will also speak at the event. The program also includes an ‘open mic’ segment so individuals can share their stories, as well. To conclude the program, a symbolic walk will begin from the VFW to the Wakefield Visitors and Information Center and back, and participants will enjoy a light lunch afterward. Along with consumers, parents, guardians, and families, CMH encourages representatives from community associations, mental health and intellectual/developmental disability advocates, legislators, education staff and students, and the general public to join the rally and walk in support of mental health and intellectual/developmental disability awareness. CMH’s Anti-Stigma Committee sincerely thanks the students and teachers of the WakefieldMarenisco, A.D. Johnston, Luther L. Wright, and Bluff View Christian Schools for drawing Walk A Mile placemats that are used in local restaurants promoting the event. In addition to helping CMH advertise the event, by drawing on placemats, the students learn about mental illness and disabilities, to be kind to everyone, and to treat everyone with respect. In addition to being in the restaurants, placemats can be seen on CMH’s Facebook page. The Committee’s theme “Be Kind to Everyone” continues to be used for this special event. For more information or to preregister, call Missy Lane at 906- 229-6105 or

MACMHB’s 13th Annual WAM

The following link is the news release from yesterday’s Walk A Mile In My Shoes rally at the State Capitol building in Lansing. Bob Sheehan, Executive Director of the Association, will be attending our 6th annual WAM on the 24th

Mental Health First Aid Training held

By IAN MINIELLY WAKEFIELD — The Community Mental Health facility in Wakefield brought together a group of adults to learn about youth mental health issues and how to identify when there is a problem verses when a behavior is just being young. Philip Gardiepy-Hefner, training coordinator for Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare Systems out of Kingsford, visited CMH Wednesday for the fifteenth time to provide for a mental health first aid class. While Wednesday’s class was the youth first aid class for adults that work extensively with young people, Gardiepy-Hefner said he also conducts law enforcement, adult, higher education, veterans, and older adults mental health first aid classes. Gardiepy-Hefner said the focus in the youth module, which is an 8 hour course, is identifying typical youth behavior verses behavior when there is a problem. The two types of behavior can look very similar, so the training is designed to foster confidence and education within the adults working with kids to identify behavior with at-risk circumstances. “The goal is to have 1 million trained in the United States and by the year 2020 to have Mental Health First Aid training as common as CPR,” said GardiepyHefner. He said 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health issue and since they had 16 folks taking the training Wednesday, statistically there was a high likelihood at least four of them would have some kind of mental health issue. The youth training for adults is broken down into three sections with different subsections in each consisting of: —Mental health challenges and disorders in youth —Mental health first aid for developing challenges and disorders in youth —Mental health first aid for youth in crisis Gardiepy-Hefner is training people at Aspirus Ironwood today and will be in Marquette Friday.

CMH to offer Mental Health First Aid Training

WAKEFIELD — In addition to the ‘core’ Adult Mental Health First Aid class, the National Council for Behavioral Health has a curriculum focused on helping adolescents and transition-age youth (ages 12-18) who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or in a crisis and Gogebic Community Mental Health is hosting this training on Wednesday, May 10. Youth Mental Health First Aid is an evidenced-based, public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly, teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge and to safely deescalate the situation, if needed. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, select interventions and provide initial help, and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. With the goal of improving mental health for everyone, reducing stigma around mental illness, and helping people who may be at risk of suicide or selfharm and referring them to appropriate treatment, this 8- hour course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, substance use, and disorders in which psychosis may occur. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling, rather, participants learn a core five-step action plan (ALGEE) to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis: (1) Assess for risk of suicide or harm; (2) Listen nonjudgmentally (3) Give reassurance and information; (4) Encourage appropriate professional help; and (5) Encourage self-help and other support strategies. The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth, such as teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals, etc., are highly encouraged to attend this training. Since 2008, the core (adult) MHFA training has been successfully offered to hundreds of thousands of people across the US, and since 2009, Gogebic CMH has successfully provided many classes to a variety of Gogebic County audiences including hospital staff, employers, business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, parents, and the general public. Of special note regarding this training, Youth Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents of youth with mental health challenges. Although parents and families may find the course content useful, the course provides a basic level of information and guidance, rather than more in-depth information on navigating the healthcare system, which parents may wish to explore themselves. Specific audiences strongly encouraged to attend this Youth MHFA training include non-mental health professionals, such as law enforcement and other first responders, school and college administration, to include teachers and support staff, care givers, community service groups, clergy, and the general public. This free training is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (lunch included) at the CMH building in Wakefield. Registrations are limited and to register for the training, contact Missy Lane at CMH at 906-229-6105 or Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to develop the youth program and additional information regarding MHFA can be obtained by visiting or

Suicide Prevention Groups Join to Spread Message


BESSEMER — The Gogebic County Mental Health Facility in Wakefield hosted the Range Suicide Prevention Council on Friday. The groups discussed the combining of the Gogebic-Ontonagon Suicide Prevention Council and RSPC into one community-wide organization, according to Pat Gallinagh, of the RSPC. Crystal Suzik, parent liaison, said combining groups is much less challenging than originally thought, not requiring name adoption or legal documentation because they are combining resources and agencies with an existing community group. “The goal is to eliminate the stigma associated with suicide and bring awareness to people,” Suzik said. She said the public is invited to be part of the council, while Gallinagh expressed Monday, “Better mental health and suicide prevention go hand in hand.” Gallinagh said joining the groups together will better help spread the weight among people and grow membership. The group discussed the “Do It For Daniel” film that was shown to local schools and the public Monday in Hurley. Missy Lane, from mental health, coordinated the planning required to bring the film here for local kids to view. According to Suzik, Gogebic County ranks seventh worst in the state for suicide, while Ontonagon County is first. The RSPC is hosting a “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event May 24 in Wakefield. The council encourages support for the event to help break stigmas and discrimination associated with suicide and mental illness and to encourage schools to bring in students. Community members and groups are also encouraged to walk. Likewise, the September “Break the Silence and Walk Through the Pain” walk at Gogebic Community College is scheduled for Sept. 9. The RSPC discussed potential grant availability for the training the “Trainer for Mental Health First Aid: effort. The council is giving two classes in April to train kids at Bessemer and Hurley to be mental health first responders.

Do It For Daniel Film

Click here for event details

A free community event showing the Do It For Daniel Documentary is scheduled for Monday, March 13th at 6 p.m. at the Hurley High School Auditorium.

Do It For Daniel is a film that documents Daniel Olson’s story.  Daniel was an all-state quarterback for the Ishpeming (Michigan) football team, had a great family and had great friends, and just one month shy of turning 20, he lost his life-long battle that he fought with depression and anxiety.

The Olson’s family mission is to tell their family story, hoping to get rid of the stigma of mental illness so it is common for people who struggle and/or suffer with such to come forward and seek help.  The documentary was created to educate people about the impact depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses have on people and their families and to create a dialogue.  “We believe that through education, we can help stop the stigma.  People who suffer from these illnesses will feel less isolated and more willing to seek help.” said Jeff Olson, father of Daniel and the Head Coach of the Ishpeming Hematites football team.  This documentary tells the incredible story of Daniel and his family and how the community of Ishpeming through the Hematite football team rallied to restore hope for all who suffer from this medical illness called depression.

Statistics show that one in four adults suffer from mental illness, one in four youth ages 13 to 18 experience mental disorders, and an estimated 13% of youth ages 8 to 15 are also affected by mental illness and most will not ask for help because of the stigma associated with it.  Ninety percent of suicides are from people who suffer from mental illness.  “To decrease suicide we need to treat the source.  Anxiety and depression are the most common.  We want to try to define it, help others understand what it feels like to suffer from it, and most importantly give people HOPE.  It is a medical illness that can be treated.” said Olson.

The stigma of depression (or any type of mental illness) will only be broken down by education and getting people to talk openly about the fact that it is a medical disease.  According to Olson, “The goal is to spread the word and hopefully this documentary will touch many lives.  We want people to realize they are not alone.  Our wish is that this movie will also show the power of love, strength, and determination.  The Ishpeming community rallied behind a dark situation and banded together to overcome the odds and grew together off the field as much as they did on and if we all, as a team and greater community, believe and work hard enough, anything is possible!  We want everyone to understand, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.”

The Documentary, 75 minutes long, is narrated by Daniel’s sister, Jaime Olson, and produced by Kammi Young-Berens and Michael Berens of Otisville, Michigan.  There is no charge to attend this community event, however, donations would be greatly appreciated as thousands of dollars are still needed to go towards color and audio correction of the film, building the Do It For Daniel Foundation so the documentary can be presented to all schools, making copies of the DVD, and getting the film to film festivals to have it shown in large market areas.

The community event, facilitated by Jeff Olson, will also be shown to students in grades 9-12 from the Wakefield-Marenisco, Bessemer, Ironwood, and Hurley schools during the school day, prior to the community evening showing.  Mr. Olson has previously shown the Documentary in Ishpeming, Gwinn, Ontonagon, Engadine, Newberry, Menominee, and Calumet, and is also scheduled to show the Documentary to six other schools on the eastern end of the UP, in addition to traveling to schools in Lower Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

For more information regarding the community event scheduled for Monday, March 13th at 6 p.m. at the Hurley High School Auditorium, please call Missy Lane at Community Mental Health at 906-229-6105.  For more information regarding the documentary, please visit the Do It For Daniel web site at or the Face Book page at  We believe this documentary will save lives.  If you or someone you know is struggling with any sort of mental illness, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.Its a disease that the person suffering, often hides from everyone else. We want the world to be more aware of this disease and make it easier to talk about.  couldn’t live with the pain any longer.

We are making this movie to educate people about depression. Its a disease that the person suffering, often hides from everyone else. We want the world to be more aware of this disease and make it easier to talk about.
The stigma of depression (or any type of mental illness) will only be broken down by educating and getting people to talk openly about the fact that it is a MEDICAL DISEASE. Our goal is to spread the word and hopefully this movie will touch many lives. We want people to realize they are not alone. 1 in 4 people will suffer with some form of mental illness in their life time. Our wish is that this movie will also show the power of love, strength and determination. A community that rallied behind a dark situation and banded together to over come the odds and grow together off the field as much as they did on. If we all as a team and community believe and work hard enough, anything is possible! We want everyone to understand, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!

Commissioners to consider sale of land for group home

By RALPH ANSAMI IRONWOOD — The Ironwood City Commission on Monday will act on selling a piece of property to Gogebic County Community Mental Health for construction of a group home. The facility would be similar to one operated on Greenbush Street by GCCMH, according to city officials. GCCMH chose property owned by the city on Ayer Street, across from the baseball diamond. “The parcel would be carved out of a larger parcel owned by the city. The proposed parcel was appraised at $3,500,” Ironwood Community Development Director Tom Bergman wrote in a summary to city commissioners. Additional costs for surveying and title work will be the responsibility of GCCMH. Bergman said the property, consisting of two different parcels, is zoned R-1 Single Family Residential on the west half and C-3 Highway Commercial on the east half. The city’s comprehensive plan recommends the area be rezoned to R-2 Multi-family Residential. Bergman said the proposed project would be consistent with the rezoning recommendations in the comprehensive plan. The proposal was reviewed by both the city’s planning commission and parks and recreation committee. Both committees recommended the sale of the property to GCCMH. The city commission meets at 5:30 p.m. in commission chambers on the second floor of the Memorial Building.