NAMI National has released a guide to answer frequently asked questions regarding the intersection between Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and people affected by mental illness, their caregivers and loved ones.
To download the guide click the following link COVID-19 Updated Guide
The NAMI HelpLine is at the forefront of people with mental health conditions and their families and loved ones seeking help. NAMI National, with the assistance of Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth, has put together an up-to-the-minute guide to COVID-19 frequently asked questions and links to additional resources.
Click the following link to download the guide: HelpLine Coronavirus Planning
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has developed a guidance document for providing behavioral health services via telehealth. Please review and follow the guidance listed in this document:
The Department has identified the following funding opportunities that can be used to enhance or expand your telehealth services in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These funding sources are not limited to spending on current Board-contracted providers and agencies. This funding
should be made available to community partners both public and private and nonprofit and for-profit where necessary to support treatment.
State Opioid Response (SOR): The Department has allocated SOR funds to the Boards. Boards may use funds available under the State Opioid Response grant for the implementation, expansion, or provision of telehealth services. If you are interested in implementing or expanding telehealth services in your Board area or would like to connect with providers who are implementing services currently using teleheath, please email Christine Sielski at Christine.Sielski@mha.ohio.gov.
Crisis Flex Funding: The Department allocated $5,750,000 to the Boards in SFY20 for Crisis Flex funds to help meet the needs of individuals and families as they arise to prevent or stabilize a substance use disorder or mental health crisis. These funds are flexible and can be used to provide support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and may include spending on telehealth to address community spread. You do not need to complete the data collection protocol associated with the crisis flex funds if used for this purpose, but you do need to track how you are using the funds for these purposes. If you have any questions on the eligible use of this funding please contact Alisia Clark at Alisia.Clark@mha.ohio.gov.
Block Grant: The Department has granted MH/SAPT Block Grant funds to the behavioral health Boards and providers. SAMHSA encourages the use of Mental Health Block Grant and Substance Abuse, Prevention and Treatment Block Grant funds on innovative programming, such as telehealth and remote treatment options. Telehealth is an important tool that may allow behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery to be conveniently provided in a variety of settings, helping to expand access, improve efficiency, save time, and reduce costs. If targeted specifically to adults
with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), all telehealth treatment and or recovery supports are an allowable expense for MHBG funds. SAPT funds can be used for telehealth as long as programming is directed to one or more of the priority populations served under the SAPT; pregnant women, women with substance use disorders and their dependent children, primary prevention populations, IV drug users, and persons at risk for Tuberculosis.
SAMHSA also stresses the use of Block Grant funding for telehealth as an important strategy to promote integrated care. If you have any questions on the eligible uses of funding for your grant award please check with your project lead and your project lead will coordinate with the Block Grant lead, Scott Wingenfeld, at Scott.Wingenfeld@mha.ohio.gov.
Please keep documentation of the amounts and uses of funding that was used to combat the pandemic. We will ask for this information to document activity. Keeping records and reporting this information will help us provide you with letters for your own organization accounting needs.
OhioMHAS has created a designated web page with information related to COVID-19. Please visit
https://mha.ohio.gov/Health-Professionals/About-Mental-Health-and-Addiction-Treatment/EmergencyPreparedness/Coronavirus. An email box for behavioral health-specific questions related to the pandemic is: COVID19BH@mha.ohio.gov. This email box will be monitored frequently to help shape our planning and communication for continuity of care issues related to addiction and mental health treatment and recovery.
Please continue to take precautionary actions for your health and those around you. For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19 you can visit: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/. All non-behavioral health specific COVID-19 questions should be directed to the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.
Get the facts on Coronavirus (COVID-19) to help understand the issue. Find more mental health resources at http://mha.ohio.gov/coronavirus
A trusted source of information is imperative in times of uncertainty like this, and we urge you to visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for the latest information specific to Ohio and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, we urge you to use the OOH call center to get answers to specific questions regarding COVID-19. The call center is now open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
Read Ohio’s first-ever collaborative suicide prevention plan: Suicide Prevention report FINAL
Message from Governor DeWine:
Suicide is devastating for those left behind, including family members, loved ones, friends, and communities. The suicide rate in Ohio has increased over the past decade, and on average, five Ohioans take their own lives each day, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Moments after taking the oath of office, my first action as Governor was to create the RecoveryOhio initiative to ensure that we act aggressively to address the crises of substance use disorder and mental illness and to invest in the health and wellness of Ohio’s citizens. To enhance our understanding of the situation, I created and convened the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council, a group made up of leaders with diverse personal and professional backgrounds. At the onset, I asked the council to provide suggestions on how to improve mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery support services in Ohio. The resulting “RecoveryOhio Advisory Council Initial Report,” published in March, laid out the recommendations that provide the framework for the efforts we are now undertaking. Today, we are pleased to announce the publication of an important resource to save lives: The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation’s “Suicide Prevention Plan for Ohio.” The document presents a strategy that will guide Ohio’s efforts for suicide prevention. The plan was created by a geographically and culturally diverse 33-member writing team of Ohioans from the public and private sector who have professional and personal experience with suicide. Under the direction of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, the team’s dedication and hard work has resulted in a plan that considers the role each of us must play in preventing suicide until not one life is lost.
Very respectfully yours,