Ottawa County joins mental health & recovery services board

Press Staff Writer

        The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Lori Criss approved Ottawa County’s comprehensive plan to join the Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Mental Health & Recovery Services Board effective Oct. 1.
        There will be no change for clients currently receiving services in the four counties and who are currently receiving board assistance. “We will continue to provide the same reimbursement methodology for the local providers that have a contract with the board,” said Mircea Handru, executive director, Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Ottawa, Sandusky & Wyandot Counties.
        Other important aspects of the merger include:
        • Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot counties have their own local levy tax. Taxes collected in each county assist residents of those respective counties. Simply put, county levy taxes follow the resident of the county.
        On the other hand, Ottawa County levy tax dollars were previously used to assist non-Ottawa County residents. Effective Oct. 1, all funds collected from the Ottawa County levy tax will assist residents of Ottawa County. 
        • A four-county rural district has enhanced abilities to develop and sustain various behavioral health projects, including contracts for inpatient facilities. “Often, we engage in multi-county projects due to the needs of the district,” Handru said. “The ability to financially sustain the project based on the needs may prove to be much more difficult for a single county to sustain. Shared resources between the four-county district are a benefit to clients receiving services.”
        • A county within the district may have a program that another county within the district may not have. However, all residents of the district will have access to all programs within the district similar to accessing programs in their own county. Additional options for treatment and recovery supports are enhanced for Ottawa County residents beginning Oct. 1.
        • Operational costs for the organization will reduce the shared cost per county. “We will continue to operate one office under one director’s leadership,” Handru said. “Any savings in administrative costs are invested in direct services or programs for the benefit of the residents.
        “I would like to thank the current volunteer board members for being very supportive of this milestone merger,” Handru said. “I would also like to express appreciation for the commissioners in the four counties; Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; local legislators, Senators Theresa Gavarone and Bill Reineke and Representatives DJ Swearingen, Gary Click and Riordan McClain, and the board staff for all of their support and assistance. This is a unique development in the history of the boards across Ohio.”
        Residents are encouraged to call 419-448-0640 with any questions, comments or concerns.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association