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NewsNow - 05.13.2022

>>> Governor DeWine Announces $85M Investment to Grow Ohio’s Behavioral Healthcare Workforce

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, joined by Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director Lori Criss and Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner and various leaders of Ohio’s behavioral healthcare and higher education communities today announced a plan to increase the number of behavioral healthcare providers to meet growing demand.

“The health and success of Ohio’s families and communities depends on our ability to recruit, train, and retain the best talent to ensure Ohio has the most robust behavioral health workforce possible,” said Governor DeWine. “Behavioral health care workers are a valued and vital part of our healthcare system, and our efforts today are focused on helping to quickly infuse more qualified professionals into behavioral health care workplaces throughout the state. I look forward to working with the General Assembly, Ohio’s providers, and our colleges and universities on this innovative plan.”

The planned investment of $85 million of federal funds gives the state an opportunity to make education more attainable and affordable for students committed to behavioral healthcare careers. The funding will be dedicated to enhancing paid internship and scholarship opportunities for students working to achieve behavioral health certifications and degrees at Ohio’s two- and four-year colleges and universities and other educational career development settings. It will also help remove financial barriers from obtaining licenses, certifications, and exams necessary for employment in these careers; support providers in their ability to supervise and offer internships and work experiences; and establish a Technical Assistance Center to help students navigate the federal and state funding opportunities available to them. This investment will also fund recruitment and retention bonuses for students who commit to employment with Ohio’s community mental health and addiction centers which provide care, treatment, and services to Ohio’s Medicaid-eligible population.

Over twenty percent of Ohioans live with a mental health condition or substance use disorder, and nearly 2.4 million Ohioans live in communities that do not have enough behavioral health professionals. A study completed in 2021 by OhioMHAS, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, InnovateOhio, and Deloitte found that the demand for behavioral healthcare services in Ohio increased 353% from 2013-2019 while the workforce increased only 174% over the same time period.

“The lack of trained, qualified professionals is the number one concern we hear from mental health and addiction providers around Ohio,” said Director Criss. “This problem is not unique to our state, but we have a unique opportunity to create pathways to recruit new talent into our rapidly growing field of healthcare. This investment will put additional doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists, social workers, and other critical personnel into our communities in the next one to two years and expand, enhance, and strengthen our ability to care for Ohioans living with mental health and substance use disorders.”

The Administration is working collaboratively across state agencies to achieve full approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the expenditure of these home and community based care American Rescue Plan Act funds as well as with the General Assembly on the most effective way to make the federal funding quickly available. Additional details of the plan will be shared in the coming weeks.

Click HERE to watch a recording of the press conference on Governor DeWine’s Facebook page.

>>> OhioMHAS 340 Review Stakeholder Workgroup – Public Notice of May 18 Meeting

The next meeting of the 340 Review Stakeholder Workgroup will be May 18 from 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Shipley Building at 1970 W. Broad St., Columbus. (View agenda) Because of space limitations, members of the public who wish to join the meeting can do so virtually (click HERE) or by calling in 614.721.2972 (use meeting passcode: 185312786#.) A recording of the meeting will also be posted online. Please direct any questions to 340ReviewWorkgroup@mha.ohio.gov. Media interested in attending should RSVP to eric.wandersleben@mha.ohio.gov by 9:00 a.m. on May 18.

>>> Ohio Receives Federal Grant to Enhance Crisis Access through New 988 Lifeline Number

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has received a $3.3 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support Ohio’s 988 Capacity and Quality Improvement Development Project through April 2024. This funding was made available to states to improve responses to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline contacts, including calls, chats, and texts. The Lifeline is scheduled to transition from the current 10-digit number to a new 988 dialing code in mid-July. Ohio’s Lifeline/988 call centers will use these funds to enhance the quality of crisis connections by assigning a lead for quality and performance improvement at each center. Specifically, the positions will focus on improving the speed and rate of answering calls, data collection for quality analysis, and development of policies and protocols for effective operation and caller support. The funding will also support an evaluation partner required for the project, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). Click HERE for more on what Ohio is doing to prepare for the transition to 988. 

>>> Ohio Department of Development Announces Regional Housing and Homelessness Forums

The Ohio Department of Development is creating a report on the state of housing and homelessness in Ohio. To aid in the creation of the report, the department is hosting a series of regional discussions to identify opportunities for the state of Ohio to understand the current landscape of housing, find gaps in products, services, and programs, and identify best practices. The first forum will be held in Columbus on May 17. Click the link for more information and to register. Additional forums will be held in Cleveland, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Middletown, Athens, Lima, and Toledo. Details will be shared in the coming weeks.

>>> New Design for Collective Impact Website

The Community Collective Impact Model for Change website (https://collectiveimpact.mha.ohio.gov/) has a fresh new look and feel. All of the information that communities need can still be found on this clean, mobile-friendly website. The Community Collective Impact Model for Change initiative is a highly innovative approach aimed at preventing opioid use and abuse, reducing opioid-related deaths, and increasing access to treatment in the state of Ohio.

>>> OhioPHP Releases Report Detailing Impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s Healthcare Workers

The Ohio Physicians Health Program (OhioPHP) conducted a statewide COVID-19 well-being survey in 2021 with healthcare professionals in Ohio. The purpose of this study was to gather the perspectives of healthcare professionals working across all disciplines, on the types of services needed to support their well-being and the type of infrastructure that needs to be in place.  The Executive Summary results of this survey is now available. Click HERE to read the OhioPHP Well-being Survey.

>>> OSPF to Host Live Premier of Corgi’s Run – TONIGHT

As part of its May Mental Health Campaign, the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation invites you to join it live tonight at 7 p.m. for the premiere of Corgi's Run. This film depicts how everyone can play a part in suicide prevention, and how complete strangers can come together to support one another. Corgi's Run began as a way for Stacy Hubbard to cope with the death of her17-year-old daughter Courtney Luna Lynn Hubbard. She combined her love of motorcycles and the ability to help others. In addition to raising awareness for suicide prevention, Stacy has created a scholarship fund in Courtney's name at Indian Lake High School. Click HERE for more information and to register.

>>> Telehealth Practice: Legal & Ethical Considerations for State & Federal Compliance – June 2

The Ohio Council's ongoing training series on care for youth and families will continue June 2, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. with a newly added session on the legal and ethical considerations of telehealth provision. This free, Telehealth Practice: Legal & Ethical Considerations for State and Federal Compliance webinar is sponsored and supported by the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. Participants will gain knowledge on state and federal policies impacting the use of telehealth and recommendations to ensure compliance and provide services in an ethical manner. This session will cover state rules governing the use of telehealth for behavioral health providers; federal telehealth requirements, including current waivers and expected changes when the federal public health emergency ends; and best practices for compliant service delivery through telehealth modalities. Click the link above for more information and to register.

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