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NewsNow - 06.10.2021

Governor DeWine Signs Bill Designating Aug. 31 as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 30 into law during this week’s quarterly RecoveryOhio Advisory Council meeting, designating August 31 as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), seeks to raise public awareness of the opioid epidemic and to remember the lives lost to addiction. On Aug. 31, a state flag will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sundown in remembrance of Ohioans lost to overdoses. 

OhioMHAS Unveils Strategic Plan for 2021-2024

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is pleased to announce the availability of its Strategic Plan for 2021-2024. The new plan aligns with goals established by the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council and Governor Mike DeWine’s Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint. The new plan is organized around four strategic focus areas: innovation, coordination, collaboration, and culture, as well as four cross-cutting priorities: health equity and cultural competency, communication and collaboration, workforce development, and data collection in analysis. OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss shared key highlights during a June 9 webinar. Click HERE to watch a recording of the presentation.

OhioMHAS Website Redesign Test Group

With an eye on improved customer service, functionality and accessibility, OhioMHAS is in the process of re-designing our agency’s website. We value your feedback and invite you to be part of a group that will test a site organization prototype and respond to a short survey to help us create a user-friendly and intuitive experience for all who visit mha.ohio.gov. We ask that anyone interested in being a part of our test group let us know by Monday, June 14, with a quick email to CreativeServicesTeam@mha.ohio.gov.

Screen Time & Health Outcomes – June 25

PreventionFIRST! will host a free Screen Time & Health Outcomes workshop on June 25. This virtual training will focus on screen time by youth and how it impact decision-making skills, impulse control, as well as gambling. Participants will explore the different types of online gaming and gambling available to youth, identifying problem gambling behaviors, and review research on screen time addiction as a diagnosable disorder. The session will be presented by James Syphax, Community Prevention Manager at Prevention Action Alliance. Click HERE to register.

Two-Part “Joyful Together” Webinar – June 16 and June 24

OhioMHAS is sponsoring a two-part Joyful Together: Reigniting Relationships and Reinforcing Resiliency in Children and Caregivers with Play webinar from 10-11:30 a.m. on June 16 and June 24. The effects of toxic stress can be detrimental; however its effects can be dampened and even overcome through joyful, positive experiences. Parents and caregivers must be equipped with tools to improve the quantity and quality of joy and playing to leverage successful early childhood outcomes. For Day 1 of this 2-part webinar, Dr. Benjamin Kearney will provide attendees with a neurobiological view and instruction on building resiliency by infusing relationships with joy and play to both insulate against and repair damages caused by trauma, toxic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences. On Day 2, attendees will learn activities and tools to further equip parents and caregivers to improve the quantity and quality of joyful interactions with young children. Click HERE to register.

Ohio Crisis Academy – June 28

OhioMHAS, in partnership with Recovery Ohio and the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, will host the virtual Ohio Crisis Academy, “Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System and How it Applies to Ohio,” from 1-4 p.m. on June 28. The Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System report was authored by members of the Committee on Psychiatry and the Community for the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and published by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Join contributors Kenneth Minkoff, MD; Margie Balfour, MD, PhD; and Mark Munetz, MD, as they discuss essential elements, measurable standards, and best practices for behavioral health crisis response. Click HERE to register.

Presenters Sought: 2021 Virtual Peer Recovery Support Conference – Aug. 24-25

OhioMHAS will host its 2021 Virtual Peer Recovery Support Conference on Aug. 24-25. This year’s theme is, “Onward and Upward in Unity.” The conference planning committee is currently accepting workshop proposals. All sessions will be 55 minutes in length and recorded for future use on eLearning platforms. Proposals must be emailed to peerservices@mha.ohio.gov by July 9. Click HERE for more information, including desired topics, proposal requirements, and guidelines.

Patrick J. Kennedy to Speak at The LCADA Way Annual Benefit and Recognition Gala – Oct. 21

Former U.S. Congressman and addiction recovery advocate Patrick J. Kennedy will provide keynote remarks at the 2021 The LCADA Way Pearls of Wisdom Annual Benefit and Recognition Dinner set for Oct. 21. Due to previous event sellouts, and demand for more tickets, the event will be held at a new location, Embassy Suites Cleveland Rockside in Independence. During his time in Congress, Kennedy was the lead author of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body. As founder of The Kennedy Forum, he now unites advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices and policies in mental health and addiction. In 2017 he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. He currently serves as co-chair of the Action Alliance’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 and co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force. The Pearls of Wisdom Annual Benefit and Recognition Dinner helps The LCADA Way raise awareness of addiction recovery as well as raise funds to assist the organization in its mission. The semi-formal event will also include fellowship, dinner, live and silent auctions, and an awards presentation. Tickets are $140. For more information, contact Joe Matuscak at 440.989.4919 or email jmatuscak@thelcadaway.org.

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