Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program

The Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program began in 2016, because of several suicides of high-profile community members and the increasing rates of depression and anxiety nationally. An initial needs survey identified three major issues: 

  • Health care providers had difficulty in accessing mental health providers—awareness of where to send patients and timely access were notable issues.  
  • Stigma of mental health often limit individuals seeking care.
  • Mental health services in Kalamazoo are fragmented / often not coordinated.

In the process of trying to move the needle to better care, the first intervention used the Collaborative Care Model.  Collaborative Care is a recognized model of care delivery that efficiently uses the psychiatrist time and expertise to help guide primary care clinics with common problems such as anxiety and depression.  This model has been studied for over ten years and has been shown to have good outcome efficacy and high patient and provider satisfaction.


We trained social workers in primary care offices and provided backup supervision by a psychiatrist. In the first year of the program, we enrolled 43 individuals — with almost half of the enrollees expressing suicidal thoughts at the time of entry into the program.  We did not have to hospitalize any enrollees. Almost 50% of enrollee’s saw their depression and anxiety symptoms drop by half. All of this — by simply using the existing staff in primary care offices and 1-2 hours a week of psychiatrist time per clinic.  

  • KCCP Mission and Vision
    The mission of the Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program (KCCP) is to improve the access and coordination of mental health services within our local community and to decrease the stigma of mental illness. Our vision is to collaboratively improve the health systems of Kalamazoo so mental health is coordinated and seamless from the patient’s perspective.
  • The Kalamazoo Commitment: Accessible Quality Mental Health for All
    The Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program (KCCP) is to be a multiagency clearinghouse for innovative programs to improve mental health access and services for Kalamazoo County.
  • Give to KCCP
    If you would like to give a monetary gift to the Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program, please click on the button below.

    You can also mail your your donation to:

    WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
    Office of Development and Alumni Affairs
    1000 Oakland Drive
    Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Model

KCCP has five main objectives:

  • Improve accessibility for more timely mental health services
  • Decrease the stigma associated with seeking mental health services
  • Close the gaps in mental health services
  • Improve communication between agencies and provide a community wide directory for mental health services
  • Promote collaboration of care with primary care practices for adults and adolescents with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, as well as expanding into specialty practices.

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world and costs the U.S. economy $210 billion per year in lost productivity. As of 2018, 16 million people suffered from depression in the United States. With the Covid-19 pandemic this has risen exponentially. Thirty percent of people with depression do not get better after two or more treatments and it can take more than two months to determine if medication will even work.

As of June 5, 2020, Michigan identified 58,241 people with Covid-19, with a total of 5,595 deaths. The pandemic has led to a huge spike in depression and anxiety.  The effects are wide spread with social isolation showing as the greatest contributor to this spike. Economic/financial effects, loss of jobs, homelessness, front-line healthcare worker burnout and concerns for themselves, their patients, and their families, family depression, and racial barriers have been devastating for many during this time. 

With the staggering mental health toll stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic the Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program will come together with the community to provide and identify resources for quicker access to care and commit to fillling the gaps in mental health services.