(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today released the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council’s Initial Report that makes recommendations on how to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery support efforts that address the state’s public health crisis – mental health and substance use.
“Far too many Ohioans have died and too many continue to struggle with mental health and substance use disorders. The recommendations, offered by the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council provide a framework for a new system of prevention, treatment, and support that we will work to implement,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio should be a state that is a national model for prevention, offers top-notch treatment services, and supports recovery and well-being. Investing in streamlining and improving what we as a state are doing to prevent, treat, and encourage recovery, is truly an investment in Ohio’s future.”
Governor DeWine created the Recovery Ohio initiative and the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council to coordinate and improve how the state addresses mental health and substance use disorders. The Advisory Council includes a diverse group of individuals who have worked to address mental illness or substance use issues in prevention, treatment, advocacy, or support services; government; private industry; law enforcement; healthcare; learning institutions; and faith organizations.
The Council issued more than 70 recommendations in the areas of stigma, parity, workforce development, prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports, and data and outcomes measurement. The Council considered the needs of all Ohioans; however, two specialty populations were highlighted because of their unique needs – children and adults involved in the criminal justice system.
A partial list of recommendations is below:
- Establish statewide prevention coordination with all state departments and agencies to ensure best practices, consistent messaging, technical assistance, and delivery of prevention services across multiple domains.
- Commission a statewide campaign to address stigma against people with mental illness and substance use disorders.
- Ensure that each patient’s needs and treatment recommendations are determined by a qualified clinical professional and promote insurance coverage of medically-necessary services identified by quality clinical care providers.
- Review and create a comprehensive plan for safe, affordable, and quality housing that will meet the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use disorders and would include supported housing options, transitional housing, recovery housing, adult care facilities, and short-term stabilization options.
Members of the Advisory Council will continue to meet to form actionable and scalable solutions to address these recommendations.