$2.2 million grant funds local opioid crisis response

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(Posted Feb. 18, 2021)

Mental Health Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB) recently received $2,228,368 as part of the State Opioid Response – Integrated Behavioral Health System of Care (SOR) initiative.

MHRB will put the funding towards prevention, treatment and recovery supports for people experiencing substance use disorders in its three-county service area.

As part of SOR, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) awarded millions of dollars to county mental health and recovery boards across the state. In previous years, funding was allocated using a distribution method to the county board authorities. This year’s SOR grants are based on a competitive bidding process. The department is interested in funding boards that demonstrate new and ongoing collaborations with key community partnerships.

“MHRB has a long history of proactively planning, coordinating, developing and funding an array of services that address the opioid use and misuse needs within our respective counties,” said Dr. Greta Mayer, CEO of MHRB. “Ongoing local and statewide data however, reveals to us that while these initiatives are having a positive impact on our communities, much more needs to be done.”

In response, MHRB doubled its number of contract care providers.

Through this network of providers, MHRB addresses the full continuum of care, including prevention, treatment, and ongoing recovery supports for people with opioid use disorders (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUD). These providers hold state certifications and are dedicated to using a trauma-informed, Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) framework. The SOR grant will be used to create new and support existing services through these providers.

In 2017, MHRB applied for and received funding from Ohio’s 21st Century CURES State Targeted Response initiative to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. This funding was used to uphold a safe pathway to care through an Overdose Response Team and Safe House in Clark County, increase access to medication assisted treatment services for the court-involved population in Madison County, and enhance peer and housing recovery supports using an Overdose Team in Greene County.

In 2018, MHRB sought and received additional funding from the State Opioid Response 1.0 initiative to continue these efforts. These dollars were used to expand access to medication assisted treatment services and add access to 24/7 digital peer support.

All proposed services in MHRB’s competitive SOR grant application were approved and cover new areas of prevention and treatment to address stimulant use disorder and/or opioids, as well as expanded recovery options in Clark, Greene and Madison counties, including:

• Expansion of school and community-based youth prevention programs at Greene County Educational Service Center, such as Adult Literacy Challenge, and early childhood programs to mitigate developmental trauma resulting from OUD/SUD. The center also will pilot new services.

• A new partnership with Her Story Inc., a faith-based care provider bridging the gap between homelessness and inpatient treatment for women with OUD/SUD

• Expansion of jail- and hospital-based services, including Mercy Reach, for people at risk of overdose

• Expansion of McKinley Hall’s overdose warm hand-off program and safe house, plus new family-based prevention programs

• New integration of primary care with behavioral health services through Mental Health Services for Clark and Madison Counties

• Expandsion of DeCoach’s opioid treatment and nursing home levels of care

• Ascent’s use of digital and Thrive’s in-person peer support services linking people with OUD/SUD to peer supporters and other resources.

The grant award also included workforce innovation, harm reduction strategies, and integrating family support into the continuum of care.

For more information about mental health and substance use resources in Clark, Greene and Madison counties, visit www.mhrb.org.

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