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NewsNow - 10.07.2021

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers. That is why each year, during the first week of October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) participants across the nation raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination, and provide support through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is proud to join with NAMI Ohio and other partners to observe MIAW. Together, we believe that mental health conditions warrant discussion year-round, but highlighting them during MIAW provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates throughout the nation to come together as a single, unified voice. This year’s MIAW is centered around NAMI’s new awareness campaign, “Together for Mental Health,” which focuses on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness. Find more information about MIAW and additional resources on the NAMI website. Click HERE for new resources from Oesterlen that faith-based communities can use to support MIAW.

Reminder: New OhioMHAS Website Launches Tomorrow

On Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, we will launch a newly redesigned site that is built with our customers in mind. The URL will remain https://mha.ohio.gov.   Using focus groups, testing, and data, we have a new navigational structure designed to enhance the experience of the wide variety of people visiting our website. The layout of the site is modern and will work well on a desktop, phone, or tablet. Website visitors will enjoy an experience that is smooth and standardized with other state agencies. In case you missed today’s sneak preview, the webinar was recorded and will be available on the new website as a tutorial. We welcome your questions and feedback on the new site. Please send your thoughts to CreativeServicesTeam@mha.ohio.gov

SUD Waiver Evaluation Provider Survey

As part of the evaluation of Ohio’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) 1115 Demonstration Waiver, the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC) has developed a survey of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. The goal of the anonymous survey is to gather the perspectives of treatment providers related to the SUD 1115 Demonstration Waiver. Survey questions include topics such as: 

  • Access to treatment, 
  • Medication assisted treatment (MAT), and 
  • Coordination of care. 

Results from this survey will provide the Ohio Department of Medicaid with valuable information about treatment delivery across Ohio as well as identify the successes and challenges experienced by SUD treatment providers and their clients. GRC requests that the survey be completed by agency clinical directors in SUD treatment settings, including community-based treatment centers, intensive outpatient, office-based opioid treatment programs (OBOT), opioid treatment programs (OTP), residential treatment facilities, etc. The survey is estimated to take about ten minutes to complete. The survey will remain open until Oct. 22. Questions about Ohio’s SUD 1115 Demonstration Waiver or the SUD provider survey can be sent to MCD_SUD1115@Medicaid.ohio.gov

U.S. Department of Defense Releases Second Annual Suicide Report

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has released its second Annual Suicide Report (ASR). The report provides an update on the Department’s efforts to combat suicide, presenting recent suicide data on service members and, to the extent available, their families; trends over time; and ongoing suicide prevention initiatives, including recent program evaluation, data sharing, collaborative research efforts, and programs to reduce the stigma associated with seeking assistance for mental health or suicidal thoughts. Among the key findings, the report notes that in Calendar Year 2020, 580 service members died by suicide. While there were no statistically significant increases or decreases among Reserves or National Guard units, the report found that the suicide rate increased statistically from CY 2015 to CY 2020 (20.3 to 28.7 suicides per 100,000 service members) among the active component. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said the findings are “troubling,” and noted DoD will redouble its efforts to provide care and resources for all who need it and will work to reduce stigmas and barriers to care. For more information on what Ohio is doing to prevent and reduce suicide deaths among service members and their families, visit ohiocares.ohio.gov. Service members, veterans and family members in need of emotional support, are urged to call the toll-free, confidential Veterans Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255 (Option 1). 

ACEs, PACEs and Addiction Summit – Oct. 19

Franklin County Public Health is hosting a free, virtual ACEs, PACEs and Addiction Summit on Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Summit will explore the influence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the development of addiction, as well as protective and compensatory experiences (PACEs) that can ameliorate the effects of childhood trauma in children and adults. Dr. Roy Wade Jr., M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.H.P., a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will provide keynote remarks. Click the link for more information and to register.

MHA of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio Offering Mental Health First Aid Trainings

Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio has received a pair of federal grants totaling $700,000 to help facilitate additional mental health first aid trainings in its service area. Organizations and individuals can host mental health first aid training at no cost in the following Ohio counties: Brown, Butler, Champagne, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Green, Hamilton, Highland, Logan, Montgomery, Preble and Warren. Police and fire departments, public safety academies, corrections, veterans groups, hospitals, colleges, family members and service agencies/providers are encouraged to schedule training for individuals or organizations with fewer than 30 attendees HERE, or contact coordinator Rich Palmer to host groups of 30 or more.

Federal Report Shows Life-Saving Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccines 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report showing that COVID-19 vaccinations in Ohio may have helped prevent roughly 13,000 new COVID-19 infections, 5,300 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths among seniors in Ohio during the first five months of 2021. The study, which was conducted by researchers with HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), reviewed associations between Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries and the proportion of the fully vaccinated population at the county level between January and May 2021. The study also found that nationally, vaccinations were linked to a reduction of approximately 265,000 COVID-19 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries between January and May 2021. Ohio data shows that of those who were hospitalized with COVID-19 since January 2021, more than 96 percent were not reported to be fully vaccinated. 

From the beginning of vaccine distribution, Governor DeWine has prioritized vaccination of the most vulnerable Ohioans, making those who live and work in specific congregate care settings among the first eligible to receive vaccines, including those in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, state psychiatric hospitals, veterans homes, and congregate care settings for people with developmental disabilities. Ohio also moved quickly and was one of the first states in the country to put in place a vaccine maintenance program for long-term care settings to ensure every staff member and resident has a continuous opportunity to get vaccinated. 

While the report shows the clear benefit of COVID-19 vaccines for older Ohioans, it remains critically important for those of all eligible ages to choose to be vaccinated. The state recently launched Ohio Vax-2-School, incentivizing Ohioans aged 12-25 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 to enter to win one of 150, $10,000 scholarships, or one of five, $100,000 grand prize scholarships. The scholarships, awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans, can be used at the Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or career program of the winner’s choice. Pending the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s granting of an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, the program will expand to allow parents and guardians to enter on behalf of children as young as 5. Eligible Ohioans can enter online now at www.ohiovax2school.com or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the state. Many providers offer walk-in appointments, or Ohioans can schedule a vaccination appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohioans who want to learn more about the safety, efficacy, and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine to learn more.  

In the News

10.7.21 | Columbus Dispatch For COVID-stressed farmers, already more likely to die by suicide, OSU sending help
10.7.21 | Ohio State News Naloxone access doesn’t make heroin seem less risky
10.7.21 | The New York Times Over 120,000 American Children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19, study says
10.6.21 | MedicalNewsToday How has social media affected mental health during the pandemic?
10.6.21 | WTVG-TV Pandemic escalates concerns over mental well-being
10.5.21 | The New York Times Depression and anxiety declined in the first half of 2021, but remained high, the CDC reports
10.5.21 | WFMJ-TV Alta Care Group plans new building at Camp Challenge with community’s help