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NewsNow - 12.07.2021

U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis

Today, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General’s Advisory to highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis. As the nation continues the work to protect the health and safety of America’s youth during this pandemic with the pediatric vaccine push amid concerns of the emerging omicron variant, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health outlines the pandemic’s unprecedented impacts on the mental health of America’s youth and families, as well as the mental health challenges that existed long before the pandemic. The Surgeon General’s advisory calls for a swift and coordinated response to this crisis as the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations that individuals, families, community organizations, technology companies, governments, and others can take to improve the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults.

“Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade,” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. “The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating. The future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation. Especially in this moment, as we work to protect the health of Americans in the face of a new variant, we also need to focus on how we can emerge stronger on the other side. This advisory shows us how we can all work together to step up for our children during this dual crisis.”

Click HERE to read the full media announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Visit the OhioMHAS website and the RecoveryOhio website to learn more about how Ohio is working to address children’s mental health.

Ohio Crisis Academy: Emergency Hospitalization and the Pink Slip Process – Jan. 13

As part of the ongoing virtual Ohio Crisis Academy training series, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACHBHA), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and the Great Lakes Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC), will host an Emergency Hospitalization and the Pink Slip Process webinar on Jan. 13, 2022. This presentation is intended to assist community mental health professionals and their community partners in understanding Ohio’s emergency hospitalization process and obtaining a working knowledge of its application. The roles and responsibilities of the various professionals involved in the emergency hospitalization process will be addressed as well as the requirements for pink slips.  A panel discussion will offer the perspectives and inputs of the professionals involved in the process. Additionally, a client’s and family testimonial will offer their personal perspective of the lived experience. Click the link for more information and to register. 

Updated Behavioral Health Provider Manual Available

A new version of the Behavioral Health Provider Manual is now available on https://bh.medicaid.ohio.gov/. This version of the manual incorporates prolonged services code updates effective Jan. 1, 2022, for community behavioral health providers. The Ohio Department of Medicaid communicated these updates via MITS Bits in November. Additional updates to version 1.19 of the Provider Manual include:

  • COVID –19 Vaccine Administration

Due to the fast changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provider Manual now refers all questions to the ODM COVID-19 resource page for COVID-19 vaccine administration guidance.

  • Report of Pregnancy Billing Code

The Provider Manual now includes HCPCS code T1023 to be used for a “Report of Pregnancy” (ROP) for dates of service on or after 7/1/2021. Ohio Medicaid communicated this update via MITS Bits in July 2021. The manual now provides additional information for providers utilizing this code.

  • Other updates were made to update outdated links, clarify language, and remove outdated codes.

Please email any questions about the updated BH Provider Manual to: BH-Enroll@Medicaid.Ohio.Gov.

Statewide FASD Steering Committee Highlights SFY 21 Accomplishments

The Ohio Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Steering Committee continues to work hard throughout the pandemic. During SFY21, the Ohio Committee sponsored five FASD trainings, developed 15 educational modules for providers and community members, and sponsored the Fifth Annual FASD Forum. The Committee also developed FASD Indicator Cards for women’s health professionals, finalized a Five-Year Strategic Plan (2022-27), and coordinated a statewide FASD Prevention Campaign. The Committee is partnering with medical professionals to include FASD educational materials in their patient packets to reduce alcohol exposed pregnancies. Dr. Cheri Richie of Columbus Women’s Care, Inc., is the first OB-GYN to include FASD materials in her toolkits to pregnant and new moms. Click HERE to access trainings, modules, resources, videos and to learn more about what Ohio is doing to address FASD.


The range of effects that alcohol can cause to a baby exposed to alcohol before birth are called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities. Thousands of babies are born with an FASD each year. “Of all substances of abuse, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, alcohol produces by far the most serious effects on the brain of the fetus.” (Institute of Medicine Report to Congress, 1996). The good news is that FASD is completely preventable. If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, her child cannot get FASD. FASD may affect neurocognitive, adaptive, and behavioral functioning. It is an underdiagnosed disorder with a range of symptoms that may present like ADHD, ID, LD, CD, ODD and/or other common behavioral disorders. However, the usual strategies to manage those disorders are not effective with FASD.

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