DeWine has focused on mental health issues for some time, and last year launched a “Beat the Stigma” campaign involving WKYC.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is serving his first term during the opioid epidemic. He recognizes the impact of addiction and the mental health impact of his COVID-19 pandemic on Ohioans.
DeWine says he wants the Ohio legislature to do more as his second term begins. He outlined his vision in Tuesday’s “State of the State” speech in Columbus.
The governor’s budget proposal centers around four points.
- Building a community care system that strengthens prevention efforts.
- Provide better crisis response services and treatment options.
- Increase behavioral health workforce.When
- We focus on much-needed research and innovation.
He wants to extend access to care to all residents.
“Treatment and counseling services are provided in person or through telemedicine visits to people in person at home or work. Suicide prevention to end the needless loss of our brothers and sisters. Youngest Ohio By supporting our residents, we can give them a great start in life and get help at the earliest signs of a need for behavioral health,” said DeWine.
He also wants to expand the new mental health hotline 988 to help save Ohioans from ending up in the emergency room.
“And more access to state hospitals and private psychiatric hospitals to reduce stress on families, emergency departments, courts and prisons,” says DeWine.
There is a shortage of mental health professionals, especially among pediatric patients. The governor wants the state to invest in expanding its pediatric behavioral health system to address labor shortages.
DeWine also calls for extensive research studies because mental health issues are different and often related to where someone lives.
He wants the General Assembly to create an “Ohio Action for Resilience Networks” or SOAR network.
“This initiative will leverage civic talent to develop the most comprehensive, multi-year research study of Ohioans in every region of the state. Opportunity in will help initiate new discoveries about the brain and resilience. It helps us better determine which interventions are most effective in our communities,” explained DeWine.
The SOAR Network includes a multidisciplinary research team of counselors, social workers, sociologists, nurses, psychologists and physicians throughout Ohio.
“By finding ways to most effectively reduce the risk of suicide, addiction and overdose, and by investing in additional, evidence-based efforts that are known to work, we can support the most vulnerable citizens. It helps,” added DeWine.