The 35 member organizations of the Coalition for Healthy Communities include agencies that advocate for, or provide direct services for Ohioans with mental illness or addiction disorders. Annually, more than 300,000 Ohioans with mental illness and 100,000 Ohioans with addiction disorders need our services. Thousands more are on waiting lists or do not receive services at all.
The Coalition for Healthy Communities reminds policy makers that Ohioans from all walks of life need mental health and addiction services. This includes Ohio National Guard troops, military personnel, their families, people in urban and rural settings, children, adults, and senior citizens, families, and workers who find themselves laid off and without employment.
Treatment works, people recover
A diagnosis of a mental illness or addiction disorder is not what it used to be. Modern research and discovery into the causes of mental illness and addiction disorders have led to more effective treatments. Today, these illnesses are as treatable as other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma. In fact, in some cases, treatment success and recovery rates are higher for people with mental illness, than for other chronic conditions.
Behavioral Health Funding
Funding for the community-based behavioral health system in Ohio has been a rollercoaster ride over the past decade. In State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2010, state funding for alcohol and drug addiction services was $12.4 million less than it was in SFY 2007, and was over $6 million less than it was in 2001 for community services. For community mental health, the loss of funding is even more staggering. In SFY 2008, total funding to the County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Boards for community-based services was $319 million, while in SFY 2010 it was only $204 million – for an unprecedented loss of $115 million or a 36% overall decrease in funding. SFY 2010 funding is $62 million less than SFY 2001.
In general, state funding for the public behavioral health system is about one-third federal funding, one-third state funding, and one-third from local county ADAMH Board levies. These percentages vary based on the service areas. Some losses in funding were offset in SFY 2010 because of the enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentages (FMAP). This meant that Ohio temporarily received a larger portion of Medicaid funds from the federal government, thus helping to ease the burden on state and local resources. Without changes, the coming loss of enhanced FMAP and reductions in State funding could result in disaster for the behavioral health care system.
Behavioral Health Services in Ohio – At a Critical Crossroads
In the last budget cycle, cuts to Ohio’s mental health and addiction services were extreme. The impact to communities has been dramatic. In the coming months, we’ll tell you how these reductions have led to critical situations for families across Ohio as well as emergency departments, in workplaces and our court systems.
Good health isn’t just about a strong body. A healthy brain is every bit as essential. Ohioans with mental illnesses and addictive disorders are challenged at work, at home and at school. If they have access to treatment, life can be more productive and full. Without treatment, we see employers lose productivity and families lose loved ones. Our rates of suicide, incarceration, and disability go up. Two of every three Ohioans say they are impacted by a friend or family member with a mental illness or addiction problem. As you consider the upcoming budget, please remember that millions of Ohioans are counting on you for their health and stability. To read more about our plan, click here.