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NewsNow - 12.23.2021

Governor Mike DeWine Signs House Bill 169 Into Law

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law HB 169, a collaboration with the Ohio General Assembly to authorize spending on a portion of Ohio’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Contingent upon Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approval of Ohio’s plan, HB 169 appropriates $529M in ARPA Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funds specifically for immediate provider workforce relief payments.  A portion of these funds will help ensure access to quality behavioral healthcare for Ohioans by supporting the community behavioral health workforce who have been on the frontlines helping Ohioans recover from addiction and mental illness throughout the pandemic. Earlier this fall, Ohio’s HHS partner agencies worked collaboratively to compile and submit a detailed spending plan to CMS that was built on robust stakeholder feedback. Immediate Provider Workforce Relief was one of four major buckets of funding submitted for CMS approval along with Workforce Support – Sustain and Expand, Technology Enhancement, and Program and System Enhancements as priorities for HCBS ARPA funding. 

“I am incredibly grateful for this investment in Ohio’s behavioral health workforce,” remarked OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “Timely access to mental health and addiction care for Ohio’s youth, families, and adults relies on recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce across the state.  Workforce is top of mind with every constituent group I talk to – we can’t meet growing demand for behavioral health services without growing the workforce available across the state.”  A study published earlier in 2021 by OhioMHAS shows that demand for mental health and addiction services increased by 353% from 2013 to 2019, while the workforce only increased by 174%.  “The immediate relief announced today is an exciting and important first step to meeting the behavioral health needs of Ohioans in the near term, and we look forward to working with our partner agencies and the General Assembly to advance the next phase to sustain and expand Ohio’s home and community based workforce over the long haul.”

2022 Mental Health First Aid Trainings for Ohio’s Agricultural Community

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (OSU Extension), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will sponsor a series of free, adult Mental Health First Aid trainings for anyone connected to Ohio’s agricultural community in 2022. The trainings focus on how to recognize warning signs, how to support someone dealing with a mental health crisis, and where to find resources when someone needs help. The first training will take place on Jan. 14, 2022. Future trainings will be held Feb. 16, March 10, April 14, May 6, June 3, July 18, and Aug. 12. Click HERE to register. 

Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation

Preventing and addressing health misinformation is a major priority for the Surgeon General. In a new Surgeon General’s Advisory and Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation, the Surgeon General is warning the American public about the urgent threat of health misinformation and calling for a whole-of-society approach to address health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Misinformation has caused confusion and led people to decline COVID-19 vaccines, reject public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, and use unproven treatments. Check out this toolkit for tips on talking to loved ones about misinformation, common tactics, and more.

DEA ‘One Pill Can Kill’ Resource Sheds Light on How Emojis Help Fuel Illegal Drug Trafficking Online

The Drug Enforcement Administration is aware of drug trafficking organizations using emojis to buy and sell counterfeit pills and other illicit drugs on social media and through e-commerce. As part of its One Pill Can Kill awareness campaign, the link above provides a reference sheet that helps to decode some of these emoji codes. Please feel free to share this information with your stakeholders in prevention and be sure to visit www.dea.gov/onepill for a toolkit of resources to support your work in preventing the use of counterfeit pills.

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12.22.21 | The Associated Press Governor signs measure legalizing sports gambling in Ohio

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