It’s Time to #ThriveOutside

The Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and Mental Health and Addiction Services together are celebrating May as Mental Health Awareness Month with the new Thrive Outside campaign partnership.


The healing benefits of time spent in nature are well-documented. Not only beneficial for physical health, evidence shows that spending just fifteen minutes outdoors also lowers stress, boosts mood, and improves a sense of well-being. Therefore, the departments are joining to encourage Ohioans to get outside during the month of May to improve their mental health.


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OhioMHAS 2021 Technology Virtual Job Fair

Are you looking for a meaningful career in IT? We, at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services want to connect with you as you prepare for your job search. You are invited to “Embracing Diversity – Because it Matters” Virtual Career Job Fair, Tuesday,  May 18, 2021 from 9:00 am - 11:00 am.  

This virtual career job fair will be a great way to learn about our agency and what we do while you connect with some of our IT Ambassadors. Don’t miss out on this event.

Register now at

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Save these Dates! Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Townhalls

Save these Dates! Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Townhalls


Description automatically generatedThe Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, in partnership with Ohio Department of Health, OhioMHAS, and CAS, are partnering to host a series of virtual town hall events to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to special populations in Ohio. Hear from medical experts, community leaders, and public health professionals. More information on how to join the following live steam events will be shared on in the near future .

Feb. 22 | 6:30 p.m. – African American Ohioans

Feb. 23 | 6:30 p.m. – Hispanic/Latino Ohioans

March 1 | 6:30 p.m. – Asian American and Pacific Islander Ohioans

March 2 | 6:30 p.m. – Rural Ohioans

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Crnkovic Appointed Chief Executive Officer at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare

Crnkovic Appointed Chief Executive Officer at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare

OhioMHAS is pleased to announce the appointment of Elaine Crnkovic as Chief Executive Officer of Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare (ABH), effective Jan. 4, 2021. Crnkovic will replace Jane Krason, who is retiring after 19 years of service at the Athens hospital. A native of New Mexico, Crnkovic earned a Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy and an Interdisciplinary Doctorate Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, Educational Management & Development and Curriculum & Instruction from New Mexico State University. She brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the private sector mental health arena in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Read the full media announcement.

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July is Minority Health Awareness Month

Anyone can experience mental health challenges regardless of their background. 

However, a person’s racial, ethnic, or cultural identity can shape and exacerbate these challenges in varying ways and make accessing mental health treatment much more difficult. The Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States and the reasons why these differences exist.

Systemic Racism

Racism is believed to contribute to mental health disorders by creating negative stereotypes that members of the stereotyped groups internalize, resulting in lowered self-esteem. It may further contribute by enabling discrimination which results in lower socioeconomic status and poorer living conditions in which poverty, crime, and violence are persistent stressors that can affect mental and physical health.


Individuals from certain racial/ethnic minority groups have shorter lifespans and higher incidences of many chronic physical disorders. Those who have both a mental and a physical disorder (comorbidity) are more likely to have their mental disorder missed or misdiagnosed because physical disorders tend to be prioritized by physicians. Even if their mental disorder is recognized and treated, people with comorbid disorders experience more drug interactions and side effects, given their higher usage of medications. 

Genetic and lifestyle differences

There is a growing body of research on subtle genetic differences that influence how medications are metabolized in certain populations. Similarly, lifestyle factors which include diet, rates of smoking, alcohol consumption and use of alternative or complementary treatments can interact with drugs to alter their safety or effectiveness.

Social Stigma and mistrust

Described by a U.S. Surgeon General’s report as the "most formidable obstacle to future progress in the arena of mental illness and health,” the term refers to negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate people to fear, reject, avoid and discriminate against those with a particular condition. Stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness held by members of minority groups have been shown to be more pronounced than those held by Whites. And a persistent, historically based mistrust of the health care system on the part of certain racial/ethnic minority groups plays a role.

Lack of understanding

Lack of cultural understanding by health care providers may contribute to underdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis of mental illness in people from other racial/ethnic groups. Factors that contribute to these kinds of misdiagnoses include language differences, differences in the way mental disorders present across populations and subconscious biased beliefs held by clinicians about certain groups regarding aggression, intelligence, laziness, and other variables. 

Financial barriers

Compared with Whites, non-elderly members of minority groups were less likely to carry private health insurance. Even among those with insurance, the cost of deductibles and copayments, lack of transportation, lack of childcare, and inflexible work schedules often prohibit mental health care. However, the role of Medicaid in covering mental health care has increased in recent years.

OhioMHAS, in alignment with Gov. Mike DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative, is committed to creating a system to help make treatment available to all Ohioans in need. One strategy is to prioritize the ongoing development culturally competent, evidence-based practices that are targeted to and appropriate for all of Ohio’s residents in need of services. Another strategy is to purposefully recruit a larger and more culturally competent behavioral health workforce that is reflective of the diversity in our communities. 

Read tips for finding culturally competent mental health services.

Locate mental health services in your area.

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Emergency Rules Filed to Expand and Enhance Telehealth for Ohioans


>>> Emergency Rules Filed to Expand and Enhance Telehealth for Ohioans

The Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with the Governor’s Office, have executed emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans and their providers. These rules will relax regulations so that more people can be served safely in their homes rather than needing to travel to addiction and mental health treatment centers. This is a regulatory change that we are collectively rolling out to help reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 for patients, their families, and our behavioral health workforce which is an important part of the emergent response and community support to COVID-19. Click HERE to view Executive Order 2020-05D, HERE to view OAC Rules for OhioMHAS, and HERE to view OAC Rules for ODM. Click HERE to view the MIT BITS.


For questions related to changes to OhioMHAS interactive videoconferencing policy as well as questions related to clinical and technical implementation of telehealth, please e-mail OhioMHAS will also be providing training and technical assistance on the clinical and technical implementation of telehealth.  Additional information will be forthcoming. In addition, resources related to telehealth may be found HERE.


Questions about Medicaid coverage, billing, and reimbursement under the new policy can be submitted to ODM and OhioMHAS staff will offer training and technical assistance related to the rules via webinar to any interested parties. Additional information on the webinar will be forthcoming.


>>> SAMHSA: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance

In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is providing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are uninterrupted during this public health emergency. Click HERE to read more.


For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). For behavioral health-specific information, visit: For behavioral health-related questions, email For COVID-19-related OTP questions, email, for Housing questions, email and for Telehealth questions, email







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Psychiatric Hospitals Limit Visitation

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) values our patients’ visitors, and the role they play in recovery and wellness of their loved one. Please be advised, that Governor Mike DeWine confirmed on March 9, 2020,  Ohio’s first positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Ohio. The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-01D, declaring a state of emergency to protect the well-being of Ohioans. Over the past couple of days the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to evolve and now includes cases of individuals who have not traveled to an impacted area being diagnoses with the having the virus. For more information on the evolving A sign in front of a house

Description automatically generatedsituation with COVID19 please visit:, or call: Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).


In response to the Governor’s most recent recommendations, OhioMHAS is limiting access to our facilities across Ohio the state’s six regional psychiatric hospitals by prohibiting outside visitation.  At this time, telephonic visitation can occur as we finalize technology to assist with further visitation options. Outside contractors and vendors that are mission critical will be granted access to the hospital after they have been screened. 


The health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We are committed to efforts to prevent the spread of the virus while ensuring continuity of care for those who OhioMHAS serves.

Please know that these safety measures have been put in place as a means of protection and are not meant to isolate or limit communication with patients. Rest assured OhioMHAS staff will work diligently to incorporate the use of technology to maintain and facilitate communication between patients and their families and guardians.


In addition, we have increased the cleaning schedules at the hospitals, and staff are encouraging all people who enter the hospital to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and to use the hand sanitizer provided in the reception areas. These safety measures will be reassessed daily.


Practice Preventative Measures

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Call before visiting your doctor.

Clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces often.


Information on the Coronavirus in Ohio is evolving daily. State and local governments are working to ensure Ohioans have access to up to date information. If you have questions or would like additional information and resources, we urge you to use the Ohio Department of Health’s call center to get answers to specific questions regarding COVID-19. Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634), or visit


For information and resources for maintaining behavioral health during this uncertain time and to stay up to date on OhioMHAS actions related to the virus, please visit:, or visit the OhioMHAS home page at: and click on Managing Cornonavirus-related stress at the top of the page.

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