DeWine invests $4 million for Greene County mental health


FAIRBORN — Mike DeWine announced plans to invest $90 million into local behavioral health crisis response services across Ohio

Among the list of recipients is the Southwest Collaborative, which is “part of an initiative to expand trauma-informed care,” according to Breann González Almos, communications advisor for the office of Mike DeWine.

Southwest Collaborative covers nine different counties in southwestern Ohio, including Greene County. The organization was awarded a total of $3,977,400.

Greta Mayer, CEO of the Mental Health Recovery Board (MHRB) that covers Clark, Madison and Greene counties, said this fund is unique for several reasons.

“We typically have to apply to OhioMHAS for capital funds,” she said. “This was a unique type of new competitive funding that was specific to requiring a multi-county board collaboration, provision of local matching dollars, and with a focus on residential care aimed at mental health crisis stabilization.”

The application the MHRB submitted was in combination with five mental health and recovery boards in accordance with the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), according to Mayer.

“We worked for many weeks with both OhioMHAS, the named boards, and local stakeholders to craft a proposal that fit the requirements and addressed unmet needs we all have for crisis services,” she said.

The process for receiving the funds is complicated, according to Mayer. The MHRB will have to spend the grant money first and then request reimbursement after the fact. Mayer said she expects this to take more than a year to complete.

In the meantime, the MHRB will come up with and implement a plan to create new programs and update old ones to meet the needs of county residents.

“Our proposal is to create a short-term (6-18 months) center for men and women as a step down from psychiatric hospitalization or an alternative to aid in stabilization for people in need of support, medication management, and daily living skills,” said Mayer. “We hope this is a path to independent living for the individuals served.”

Greene County residents can expect to see some changes to mental health recovery in the coming year, according to Mayer, that will hopefully improve lives and increase availability of MHRB resources.

“One significant change will be to add another layer of access to short-term residential stabilization for those individuals in need of this level of care,” she said. “It is a piece of programming we currently lack and we hope it will provide an important option for those in need.”

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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