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Executive Order 2019-08D

Creating the Governor’s RecoveryOhio Advisory Council

WHEREAS, Ohio is facing the worst drug epidemic in my lifetime and is losing 13 or 14 people a day from accidental drug overdoses. Every county in Ohio and every city, town and village – urban and rural – is affected.  The human toll, the increased crime, and the economic and societal damages caused by this epidemic are devastating; and

WHEREAS, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Behavioral Health Barometer report in 2015, Ohio had about 434,000 adults aged 18 or older who struggled with Serious Mental Illness within prior year to being surveyed; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s suicide rate has increased at an alarming rate. In 2016, 1,706 Ohioans died by suicide. That is an average of nearly five a day, or about one every five hours; and

WHEREAS, Ohio has not taken a comprehensive look at the service delivery systems for mental health and substance use care in nearly 20 years; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s substance use and mental health treatment, prevention and recovery support service delivery are provided and planned for by professionals in all sectors of society and in all levels of government; and

WHEREAS, I strongly believe that the citizens of this State who live with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder will recover and go on to lead high quality productive lives;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this State do hereby order and direct that:

  1. The RecoveryOhio Advisory Committee (the “Committee”) is hereby established and shall advise my Administration on matters of concern regarding mental illness and substance use prevention, treatment and recovery support services in Ohio.
  2. The Committee shall consist of up to 35 individuals, all of whom I will appoint and will serve at my pleasure. The Committee membership shall consist of individuals who have been or are presently working to address mental illness or substance use issues in any of the following capacities:
    1. Individuals living with mental illness and/or a substance use disorder and their families;
    2. Those in local, state and federal governmental service;
    3. In private industry;
    4. In learning institutions;
    5. In organizations of faith;
    6. In criminal justice settings;
    7. In mental health or substance use prevention, treatment, advocacy or support services;
    8. In healthcare;
    9. Individuals concerned about issues of importance to Ohio’s mental health or substance use matters; and
    10. Family members or other advocates for people living with or recovering from mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
  3. The Committee shall include representatives from all regions of the State.
  4. I designate the RecoveryOhio Director to serve as Chairperson of the Committee.
  5. Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation.
  6. No later than March 8, 2019, the Committee will submit written, actionable recommendations to me and each cabinet-level State agency, board and commission that serve individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders and their families. These recommendations should include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Recommendations on how the State could best provide high quality prevention and early intervention programming in communities and schools.
    2. Recommendations for improving access to treatment services in Ohio for mental health and substance use disorders;
    3. Recommendations on recovery support strategies including but not limited to peer support, employment, and housing as foundations for wellness;
    4. Recommendations for improving the quality of care provided for mental health and substance use disorders in the community, in healthcare and in criminal justice settings;
    5. Recommendations on how to create efficiencies across systems (i.e. state psychiatric hospitals, private hospitals, criminal justice, treatment, recovery support programs, employers etc.) so that patients receive coordinated care and support that also serves a role in reducing duplication in service delivery and supports quality care and outcomes;
    6. Recommendations for serving more Ohioan in a culturally competent way and to address underserved populations including but not limited to:
      1. Recommendations to address the need for acute care mental health services for Ohio youth;
      2. Recommendations on distinct needs of families impacted by mental illness and addiction.
      3. Recommendations on unique needs for older adults; and
      4. Recommendations on the unique needs for veterans;
    7. Recommendations on what critical outcomes can be measured to improve Ohio’s system of mental health and addiction services;
    8. How federal, state and local resources are being used to optimize these outcomes and identify where these resources can be better coordinated or redirected to meet needs of Ohioans; and
    9. Recommendations for the state budget.
  7. Upon completion of these recommendations, the Committee shall meet no less than quarterly to access and provide guidance to the work to carry out the recommendations.

I signed this Executive Order on January 18, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio and it will not expire unless it is rescinded.


Mike DeWine, Governor



Frank LaRose, Secretary of State