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02/18/2020 | State Announces $3M in Grants to Strengthen Behavioral Healthcare Workforce

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2020 Contact: Eric Wandersleben c: 614-359-6754

State Announces $3M in Grants to Strengthen Behavioral Healthcare Workforce

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Drug Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is taking action to strengthen and enhance the state’s behavioral healthcare workforce through $3 million in grants to OhioMHAS certified community behavioral health centers (CBHCs). The funds will support CBHC-led recruitment and retention efforts and incentivize existing professionals to attain a higher level of professional certification.

CBHCs will be eligible to apply for a one-time funding maximum of $100,000 for SFYs 2020/2021. The funds, which were set aside in the latest biennial budget, will be awarded to CBHCs using a randomized selection process.

“In our RecoveryOhio Initial Report, there are several recommendations on how we, as a state, can address workforce shortages in critical areas like behavioral health care,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Attracting and retaining well-qualified workers is essential to create and foster a system that truly meets the needs of its Ohioans. These grants will help community behavioral health centers maintain quality providers.”

“Recruiting and retaining qualified workforce is a challenge across the state for mental health and addiction services providers,” said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “This funding will directly help draw professionals into this critical workforce shortage area and secure needed service capacity for treating mental illness and addiction in Ohio.

” CBHCs may utilize the funding to support new or existing workforce development programs such as:

  • Defraying loss of direct service revenue when staff at the agency are involved with providing training supervision related to professional licensure/credentialing.
  • Supporting agency student loan repayment programs.
  • Funding for agency tuition payment and/or reimbursement programs.

Individuals benefiting from loan repayment and/or tuition payment/reimbursement must commit to working for the funded CBHC for a minimum of two (2) years and may not receive a total benefit through these funds of more than $20,000.

These funds continue the series of actions undertaken at the state level to recruit and sustain a highly skilled, clinical workforce. OhioMHAS has made significant investments to support training and education opportunities around suicide prevention, residency programs in psychiatry, and has utilized federal grant funds to expand the number of medical professionals qualified to prescribe Medication-Assisted Treatment for Ohioans impacted by opioid addiction.