COVID-19 Response

OhioMHAS has applied for the following grants. Awards have not yet been made.

FEMA Crisis Counseling and Assistance Program

The focus of the Ohio's Crisis Counseling Program for the first 60 days will be to provide crisis counseling services to areas of the state impacted by the COVID pandemic. These target areas include the following Ohio counties: Franklin, Cuyahoga, Butler, Pickaway, Lucas, Hamilton, Mahoning, Summit, Lorain, and Stark. Focusing on these 10 counties in the first 60 days post-award ISP will yield the best results. These 10 counties account for 75% of all COVID cases in the state of Ohio. Outreach specialists and crisis counselors will reach out to Ohio's most vulnerable populations by linking to community organizations and outreaching to people where they live and are traditionally served. Education and information materials, including informaton on Ohio’s CareLine and other warm lines, will be developed for each of these groups and disseminated through social media, traditional media, community meetings, faith-based organizations, and chats on popular social media platforms. The CareLine and other regional hotlines will be used to connect people with local community CCP crisis counseling services.

The expected impact of COVID-19 related stressors such as trauma, unemployment, anxiety, and depression present an opportunity to engage individuals in pandemic crisis services. OhioMHAS has chosen to enhance pandemic crisis services as a strategy to assist Ohioans that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. We believe this approach will address gaps in our current continuum, add capacity to serve new clients, and fund immediate crisis services for individuals without insurance as a result of increased unemployment.

SOR 2.0

Ohio’s State Opioid Response Project will achieve an integrated behavioral health system by increasing access to evidenced based prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery services. Innovative strategies to meet complex social needs are essential for long-term recovery of the target population, youth and adults diagnosed with an opioid, stimulant use or misuse disorder, and co-occurring mental illnesses. The geographic area for this project is state of Ohio with the goal of serving 20,000 Ohioans.

The devastating and potential lasting effects of substance use across the lifespan continues to strain our families, ravage our communities, and threaten the well-being of our entire state. Substance use has major impacts creating multi-generational effects on children and adults mental, emotional and behavioral development.1 Family, community, and too often, older adults caring for children of substance use disordered parents are the unseen victims. While opioids are still cause for concern, current trends on the increased use of methamphetamines, marijuana and illicit drugs illuminate the spread of a drug problem that cannot be ignored2. The COVID 19 pandemic amplified the importance of addressing basic needs as modifiable risk factors which underpin mental and emotional as well as physical health. Addressing “complex social needs”, as well as, basic needs for food, safety, and housing require vision and leadership with the skills to work collectively to improve and change the way we serve the target population of this SOR 2.0 grant. Increasing access to interventions including Naloxone, Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT) are critical tools in our toolkit, communities must now begin addressing the “modifiable risk factors” and “complex social needs” of the target and special populations, such as preventing adverse childhood experiences, trauma, homelessness and substandard housing, unemployment, lack of education and job training, food scarcity, and isolation. SOR 2.0 will expand upon the proven success strategies of evidence-based treatment, by providing services to 20,000 Ohioans with treatment, MAT and recovery supports, but will aim higher to build and engage local and regional community partnerships in the places where we are all born, live, work, play. Essential community level partnerships are needed to scale-up supports Ohioans need to thrive across the lifespan. To be successful, regional partnerships must modernize approaches to sustain engagement and be inclusive of diverse partners such as community based, faith based and recovery community organizations, education and job training programs, public and supported recovery housing entities, public health including federally qualified health centers & behavioral health and social programs in addition to child welfare, early onset drug prevention programs that are youth-led and family and peer supported.

1 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. The State of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health of Children and Youth in the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25739. 2 OSAM Report

Emergency SAMHSA Grant

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) will allocate funding from the Emergency COVID-19 grant to enhance existing crisis services and prioritize direct services to Ohio’s children and adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), Substance Use Disorder (SUD), and co-occurring SMI and SUD. OhioMHAS will also target the state’s frontline healthcare professionals as well as other Ohioans with less than severe mental illness who require mental health care as a result of COVID-19. Grantees will be required to split funding into the required sub-categories for providing direct services to healthcare providers (10%) and those that do not have an SMI (20%). Grantees will utilize the rest of their funding (70%) to reinforce the existing mental health crisis system. Funding will be distributed to six lead mental health and addiction Boards that represent established crisis collaboratives in different regions throughout the state. Each Board will work with their respective catchment area Boards and providers to determine where funding can be used to address gaps within existing crisis services. Targeted crisis services will include mobile crisis teams, children’s mobile response stabilization services, crisis stabilization centers, and crisis hotline services/call centers. Possible uses of funds could include: Crisis hotline services/call centers will be enhanced to provide the screening, brief therapeutic intervention and referral (SBIRT) model to identify then direct individuals impacted by COVID-19 to the appropriate level or care; Mobile crisis teams and children’s mobile response stabilization services will be expanded to provide additional services to the growing need; and Crisis stabilization centers will work with local hospitals and emergency departments (ED) to expand services for individuals in need of treatment and divert utilization of ED services. Evidence-based therapies will be available through brief intervention or individual therapy, and throughout the continuum of services, grantees will be required to expand the use of telehealth. With this project, OhioMHAS will reach a minimum of 1,500 Ohioans, with a focus on increasing the number of individuals who receive screening as well as increasing the number of available services and positive outcomes such as employment.

Ohio’s COVID-19 Emergency Suicide Prevention Project

Ohio’s approach to the COVID-19 ERSP grant builds on the existing Zero Suicide infrastructure to enhance and amplify multi-sector efforts across the continuum of suicide care. Critically needed clinical services for individuals at-risk for suicide will be enhanced in multiple counties to strengthen the capacity within domestic violence organizations around suicide prevention while expanding the understanding of increased risk for suicide in domestic violence survivors.

With both suicide and domestic violence being complex social problems, the stigma and discomfort involved in talking openly about both subjects will be addressed through offering cross-cutting trainings to increase the field’s knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively address suicide and the needs of domestic violence survivors.

The population of focus is adults 25 years of age and older. Over the 16-month funding period an estimated 5,300 individuals will receive clinical services, and 300 will receive evidence-based suicide prevention trainings.

Goal 1: TRAIN a competent, confident, and caring workforce.

Objective A: Provide 10 regional trainings for clinical and non-clinical staff on suicide prevention evidence-based practices and the increased risk for suicide in domestic violence survivors by the end of the grant period.

Goal 2: IDENTIFY individuals with suicide risk via comprehensive screening and assessment.

Objective A: Each behavioral health organization will implement a suicide screening for every patient.

Objective B: Screenings and assessments will include questions about how each person is personally being impacted by the pandemic and consider physical, emotional, social, and financial stressors and heightened risk factors such as social isolation and changes in family dynamics.

Goal 3: ENGAGE and TREAT and TRANSITION all individuals at-risk of suicide and with suicidal thoughts using suicide prevention evidence-based practices.

Objective A: Increase caring contacts for all patients during this time of changes and increased stress and consider providing caring contacts for all patients regardless of risk status and as a key strategy for care transitions.

Objective B: Ensure collaborative safety plans are reviewed consistently and assess lethal means safety as individuals are staying home and may have more frequent access.

Objective C: Expand utilization of suicide specific evidence-based treatments, all of which can be adapted to telehealth.