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NewsNow - 03.25.2022

>>> Director Criss Visits Catalyst Life Services Behavioral Health Urgent Care in Richland County

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has prioritized helping Ohioans living with mental illness and substance use disorders by investing in a system that provides quality treatment on demand and supporting local planning efforts to enhance Ohio’s behavioral health continuum of care. This week, OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss visited Catalyst Life Services in Richland County to tour a new Behavioral Health Urgent Care center that was recently integrated into Catalyst’s service delivery. The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Richland County partnered with Catalyst in August to open the center. The Urgent Care offers access without an appointment for mental health and substance use disorders and allows for immediate access for initial assessments and brief, solution-focused counseling on a walk-in basis.

Pictured (l-r): Catalyst Life Services Executive Director Erin Schaefer, CEO Laura Montgomery, EVP/ Director of Substance Use Disorders Elaine Surber, OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss, OhioMHAS Assistant Director for Community Treatment Services Lois Hochstetler, Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Executive Director Joe Trolian, and Associate Director Sherry Branham.

>>> Melissa Bacon Appointed OhioMHAS Deputy Director of Behavioral Health Policy

OhioMHAS is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Bacon as Deputy Director for Behavioral Health Policy. Bacon is an experienced policy professional with more than 25 years in state government, legislative and executive, working on state and federal issues. She will join OhioMHAS on April 4. As Deputy Director for the Bureau of Behavioral Health Policy, Bacon will work with the Director and OhioMHAS leadership team to formulate the policies, strategies, procedures, and administrative rules necessary for defining agency goals and objectives, as well as develop policy papers to communicate key positions and initiatives.

Most recently, Bacon served as the director of Policy & Advocacy at Groundwork Ohio where she helped to advance research and data-driven policies to support the health and early education of Ohio’s youngest children and their families. As a member of the Groundwork Ohio team, she worked collaboratively through building and leveraging relationships in the legislative and executive branches of state government, as well as with health and human services partners also committed to improving the lives of young children. Before joining Groundwork Ohio, Bacon worked as the director of Government Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement for OCALI, a nonpartisan organization advancing policies that improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. During her tenure, she co-led the OCALI Office of Policy and the Interagency Workgroup on Autism, focusing on developing relationships with members of the General Assembly and the Administration as well as other policy advocacy organizations. While at OCALI, she advanced issues such as social emotional education, early intervention, Medicaid managed care and waiver services, state scholarship programs for the education of children with disabilities, ending custody relinquishment for families in need of crisis services for their child, and leveraging technology to advance independence for individuals with disabilities.

Prior to OCALI, Bacon worked in several health and human services state agencies as a member of leadership teams during the Kasich Administration. She served as the Chief of Policy and Communications for the Ohio Department of Health; Assistant Policy Director for Health and Human Services for Governor Kasich; and Director of Government Affairs for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. From this work she learned the value of cross agency systems work, strong stakeholder relations, and shared policy agenda setting. In addition, Bacon worked as the director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement for the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University and began her career as a Page and Legislative Aide for the Ohio Senate. Bacon lives with her partner in Columbus and is the proud mother of three young women ages 22, 20 and 17. When her oldest daughter was diagnosed at an early age with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she became a passionate advocate for policies to advance early screening and diagnosis for children with developmental delays, access to necessary interventions and supports for children and families, and policies that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and support for their families across the lifespan.

>>> LACTS System Update Regarding Intensive Home-Based Therapy Revised Rules

OhioMHAS has updated the department’s Licensure and Certification Tracking System (LACTS) with the revised IHBT rules.  If a provider has a current community behavioral health certificate with IHBT or is a provider wishing to add IHBT for the first time, an “update application” will need to be submitted in the LACTS system to ensure the new IHBT service types are accurately depicted on their certificate.  Please contact your lead surveyor to address specific questions regarding the update application to add or update the IBHT service. Details on this change can be found HERE. If you are not sure who your surveyor is, or have other questions, please contact OhioMHAS’ Licensure and Certification Team at liccert@mha.ohio.gov.

>>> Statewide 988 Backup and Chat/Text Providers Awarded

OhioMHAS has awarded the following three Ohio National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) approved crisis call centers with grants to support the launch of a 988 mental health crisis number. Talbert House of Cincinnati will serve as the state 988 backup call center; Coleman Health Services of Kent and Netcare Access of Columbus will both serve as Ohio 988 chat and text providers. Only NSPL approved call centers were eligible to compete for the grants, and all three agencies will provide 24/7/365 coverage. At the federal level, Congress passed a bill in 2020 that required all states to transition from the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to a 3-digit, easy to remember 988 number by July 16, 2022. Since 2015 in Ohio, the NSPL has provided free, confidential support to people in suicidal, mental health or addiction crisis anytime, day or night. The 988 call centers will serve as an entry point into Ohio’s crisis care system. To learn more about the Ohio’s plans for 988 implementation, visit HERE. For help now, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text "4HOPE" TO 741741.

>>> Value-Based Care Training – April 7

As health care systems are shifting to embrace service delivery and financial models that incentivize delivering person-centered services offered at the right place, right time, and right amount of care, behavioral health providers will have new opportunities to collaborate and negotiate with payers. Value-based care is a proactive concept of focusing on improving clinical and treatment outcomes. Under value-based care agreements, providers are rewarded for helping individuals improve their health, reduce the effects and incidence of chronic health conditions (including behavioral health), and developing healthier lifestyles. When individuals' health and wellbeing is improved, providers are financially incentivized to provide evidence-based care and healthcare costs are reduced. This training, hosted by the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers in partnership with the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, will provide participants with an overview of the fundamentals of value-based care models, an understanding of financial risk considerations, identification of key metrics to support reward, and strategies for negotiating agreements for behavioral healthcare providers focused on person-centered services that improve the health of individual and families. Click HERE for more information and to register. Questions? Please email whiteside@theohiocouncil.org.

>>> 2022 NAMI Ohio Annual Meeting -- May 13-14

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Ohio will hold its annual meeting and conference on May 13-14 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris. The 2022 NAMI Ohio Annual Meeting will include inspiring and uplifting speakers on the topics of mental illness and the current state of mental health in Ohio. Attendees will have the opportunity to relax, rejoice, and network with peers while learning of new opportunities and projects that will be happening throughout Ohio in the next year. A surprise announcement about a new NAMI Ohio initiative will be made during lunch on May 13. This will also serve as the opportunity to celebrate the dedicated career of NAMI Ohio Executive Director Terry Russell before his retirement at the end of June. Registration for the meeting is free.

>>> 2022 State of the State Materials Available on OhioMHAS Website

In case you missed Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s 2022 State of the State on Wednesday, we’ve gathered related materials in one location under the Budget, Bills, and Legislative tab on the OhioMHAS website. Click HERE to watch a recording, HERE to read a transcript of Governor DeWine’s prepared remarks, HERE to see key highlights, and HERE for reactions from Ohio’s behavioral health field.

In the News

3.25.22 | Lisbon Morning Journal (Editorial) Drug education important, but there is more needed

3.24.22 | WKRC-TV Mental health experts applaud Gov. DeWine’s attention to growing crisis

3.24.22 | WKYC-TV Following daughter’s death, Lake County mother seeks to end human trafficking

3.24.22 | Akron Beacon Journal Ohio prepares to launch ‘988’ suicide prevention lifeline

3.24.22 | Psychology Today How to talk to a man about his mental health

3.24.22 | WKRC-TV Addiction, the pandemic, and the stress on healthcare providers

3.23.22 | WKBN-TV Gov. DeWine emphasizes need for mental health resources in State of the State address

3.23.22 | The News-Herald Extended Housing launches awareness campaign focusing on homelessness

3.23.22 | WKSU 89.7 New Ohio pilot program to increase awareness of drug use to be expanded soon

3.23.22 | WFMJ-TV Mahoning County Mental Health Board seeking volunteers for LOSS/DOSS Team

3.23.22 | WCH Record-Herald OhioRISE to support 19 Ohio counties

3.23.22 | The New York Times There’s a mental health crisis among American children. Why?