Do you have Lou Gehrig's disease? If so, do you know a good facility to manage it? Do you have Lupus? Do you know who is qualified to treat it? The common theme is that unless you have a specific disease, you probably don't know too many details about how it's treated, or where to go for that treatment.
But what if you developed a disease? You would want to know details, wouldn't you? You would want to know that someone, somewhere can help you.
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is like that. Until you need us, you're not likely to know we exist. Let's introduce ourselves to each other!
We are a community-based, publicly supported organization that Ohio established in 1967 to assist individuals who exhibit symptoms of a mental illness or are experiencing the effects of alcohol or drug dependence or addiction. The law that created the boards requires those boards to assess community needs, develop programs to meet those needs and evaluate the quality of those programs. The board is the safety net hanging below you to catch you if you stumble or fall. (Think of stumble or fall as loss of job, no or inadequate insurance, or working more than one job to make ends meet.)
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board directs you to an agency that is qualified to treat your needs. This agency has licensed, credentialed employees who offer the most appropriate treatment for your specific need. The board contracts with an agency that has gone through the process of having the Ohio Department of Mental Health or the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services see that their personnel are professionally trained and qualified to treat.
The board may look for an agency to provide mental health or addiction counseling, or an agency to find housing for someone who would be homeless with a mental illness. The board may contract with an agency that offers training to law enforcement to interact with a person who appears to be off their medications and doing bizarre things. If a tragedy happens in the community, the board has a contract for people who will offer debriefing strategies to help cope with that tragedy. A school may want to teach students to avoid/prevent the dangers of poor decisions - bullying, smoking, drinking or doing drugs - and the board can link the school with trained staff to offer prevention approaches. The board established a Suicide Prevention Coalition to address suicide among children and adults. During prom and graduation season, it conducts the Parents who Host, Lose the Most campaign to discourage bad decision making, such as underage drinking.
The law requires the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board to be an active member with certain community organizations such as the Family and Children First Council and the Child Fatality Review Board, and to have a volunteer board of directors who are citizens from the community requiring no specific education or skills.
To sum it up, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board is committed to sharing its resources with individuals seeking better mental health and removing substance abuse from their lives.
If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties at (419) 448-0640. The board's office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Nancy Cochran,executive director