The Lorain County Opioid Action Team is hosting a vigil in memory of the 143 lives lost to accidental overdose in Lorain County in 2021. Community partners will be there with resource tables for prevention, treatment, recovery support. Free Narcan kits and more will be available. Those in recovery and the families of those who have struggled with addiction will share their stories.
WHERE: Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College, 1005 Abbe Rd. N., Elyria, OH 44035
WHEN: Aug. 31 from 5-8 p.m.
Questions? Email Jinx Mastney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In 2022, we have seen in Lorain County a number of overdose anomalies – which means there have been a series of unusual spikes in overdoses,” said MHARS Executive Director Michael Doud. “By coming together to remember those who lost their lives to accidental overdose and increasing the awareness of those struggling with substance abuse disorder, we can reduce the stigma, and hopefully, the number of drug-related overdose deaths.”
The event is free and open to the public. Overdose Lifeline trainings are offered for free in Lorain County. These courses are aimed at educating and training the public on the facts of addiction, the opioid crisis, combating stigma, harm reduction, and more. These trainings offer a way to learn about the epidemic and ways to help others struggling with substance use disorder. Addiction is a medical disease that can affect anyone, and it is important for all of us to learn more about it and to remove the stigma surrounding it.
People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse. In 2021, IOAD events of all kinds were held in at least 37 countries.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019.Learn More
The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County’s Board of Directors voted at its June 28 meeting on new officers for the 2023 Fiscal Year.
The officers for this one-year term will include:
- Dan Urbin, who will continue to serve as Chair
- James Schaeper, Vice Chair
- Hope Moon, Chair of Governance
- Sandra Premura, Treasurer
“With several important priorities ahead, one of the most notable of which is the construction of the Lorain County Crisis Receiving Center, the Board has been tasked with some of the biggest improvements to crisis care in Lorain County since its merger in 2019,” said Urbin. “I look forward to continuing to serve as the Board Chair and working with my fellow Board members, the Lorain County Commissioners, community leaders and residents.”
Under Ohio Revised Code 340, the volunteer Board of Directors has the legal responsibility for the planning, funding and monitoring of community mental health and alcohol and other addiction treatment services in Lorain County.
The Board of Directors also bid farewell to two retiring longtime Board members, Dr. Denise Eacott and Karen Sutera.
“It has been a privilege to work with Dr. Denise Eacott and Karen Sutera,” said MHARS Board Executive Director Michael Doud. “I thank them for years of invaluable service to the Board and dedication to improving mental health, addiction and recovery services for those in need and their loved ones in Lorain County.”
There are currently two Board of Directors vacancies that must be filled. Board members are not compensated and must complete an application and interview process before being appointed by the Lorain County Board of Commissioners or Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services. Applications can be found on our website by clicking here. Submit completed applications to Patrice McKinney at email@example.com.
Prospective Board members must be residents of Lorain County and have an interest in mental health and/or addiction. In addition, a board member may not be related to any Lorain County Commissioner. A board member may not serve on the Board of any agency under contract with the Board or be employed by any such agency. A board member may not be employed by or be related to anyone employed by the MHARS Board. To learn more, visit our website.Learn More
Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services Board of Lorain County Announces Fiscal Year 2023 Allocations
LORAIN, OHIO – At its last meeting, the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County’s Board of Directors approved a series of budget allocations to provider agencies for fiscal year 2023.
“As the funding agency for behavioral health services in Lorain County, we value the process of transparency in allocating dollars to the network of behavioral health providers in our area who directly serve individuals and families in need of help,” said MHARS Executive Director Michael Doud. “Approximately 16,000 Lorain County residents received mental health and recovery services across our network in 2020, providing the high level of care we have come to expect in Lorain County.”
Below are the agencies receiving FY23 budget year allocations totaling $14,147,826:
- Applewood Centers Inc.
- Beech Brook
- Bellefaire JCB
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County
- El Centro
- Far West Center
- Gathering Hope House
- Genesis House Safe Harbor
- Let’s Get Real, Inc.
- Lorain Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP)
- Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Lorain County
- Neighborhood Alliance
- New Directions
- New Sunrise Properties
- The Nord Center
- Road to Hope
- Silver Maple
- Stella Maris
The MHARS Board staff works with its Board of Directors’ Community Planning and Oversight Committee to make budget recommendations to its Finance Committee. The process requires extensive dialogue and collaboration with community partners. Those recommendations are then voted on by the entire board before they become final. Click here to view on our website the board packet containing the budget info referenced above.
About the MHARS Board
The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County brings together the expertise, resources and proud histories of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County and the Lorain County Board of Mental Health. The people served by mental health and substance use disorder systems have a common goal – recovery. Consolidating the county’s addiction and mental health partners strengthens our ability to coordinate treatment and recovery services, which helps us improve the lives of our clients, their loved ones and the community. Our goal is to maximize delivery of these health services. It means providing the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram or connect with us on our website at www.mharslc.org.Learn More
June marks Pride Month in the United States. The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County supports access to services for all community members and understands the impact that support, inclusion and empathy can have. The celebration of Pride symbolizes the recognition, inclusion and vitality of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
To highlight the importance of access to mental health care, affirming services and life-saving support, last year’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021 found that:
- 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
- 12% of white youth attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth.
- 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health.
- More than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful — and only 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming.
- 70% of LGBTQ youth stated that their mental health was “poor” most of the time or always during COVID-19.
- 48% of LGBTQ youth reported they wanted counseling from a mental health professional but were unable to receive it in the past year.
- 30% of LGBTQ youth experienced food insecurity in the past month, including half of all Native/Indigenous LGBTQ youth. 75% of LGBTQ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime.
- Half of all LGBTQ youth of color reported discrimination based on their race/ethnicity in the past year, including 67% of Black LGBTQ youth and 60% of Asian/Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth.
- 13% of LGBTQ youth reported being subjected to conversion therapy, with 83% reporting it occurred when they were under age 18.
- Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all of the people they lived with attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected by anyone with whom they lived.
- Transgender and nonbinary youth who were able to change their name and/or gender marker on legal documents, such as driver’s licenses and birth certificates, reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
- LGBTQ youth who had access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
Check out The Trevor Project National Survey to view interactive survey results and to learn more about the relationship between mental health, support and access to affirming services.Learn More
May 16, 2022
Overdose Spike Anomalies Identified in Lorain County
LORAIN, OHIO – On May 14, the Lorain County Public Health Department received notification of a “drug anomaly” alert indicating there had been 10 drug overdoses over the span of 24 hours.
This includes five females and five males: three under the age of 29, two between 30 and 39 years old, one person between 40-49 years old and four over the age of 50 years old. The unusually high increase reflects the number of drug overdose visits to emergency rooms. It was one of three overdose anomalies so far this month.
The three unprecedented overdose anomalies in May include:
- May 14: 10 overdoses
- May 7: 9 overdoses
- May 1: 8 overdoses
In addition, Lorain County first responders and the Coroner’s office have also reported a noticeable increase in suspected overdoses including one mass overdose event involving four individuals from May 13-15.
There are resources available for those who are actively struggling with substance use disorder:
- A non-emergency bilingual Navigator is available with treatment and other resource information at 440-240-7025
- Call the Crisis Hotline at 1-800-888-6161
- Get a Narcan rescue kit for free. These are available at the Lorain County Public Health Department at 9880 S. Murray Ridge Road, Elyria.
- Visit the Harm Reduction Clinic at The Nord Center, 3150 Clifton Avenue, Lorain to exchange needles, obtain fentanyl strips and more
Some facts to note about substance use disorder as a medical disease from the National Institute of Health:
- Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.
- It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.
- Addiction is the most severe form of a full spectrum of substance use disorders, and is a medical illness caused by repeated misuse of a substance or substances.
- Addiction is a treatable, chronic disorder that can be managed successfully. Research shows that combining behavioral therapy with medications, if available, is the best way to ensure success for most patients. The combination of medications and behavioral interventions to treat a substance use disorder is known as medication-assisted treatment. Treatment approaches must be tailored to address each patient’s drug use patterns and drug-related medical, psychiatric, environmental, and social problems.
For more information about addiction, visit our website at https://mharslc.org/faq-addiction/.
About the MHARS Board The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County brings together the expertise, resources and proud histories of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County and the Lorain County Board of Mental Health. The people served by mental health and substance use disorder systems have a common goal – recovery. Consolidating the county’s addiction and mental health partners strengthens our ability to coordinate treatment and recovery services, which helps us improve the lives of our clients, their loved ones and the community. Our goal is to maximize delivery of these health services. It means providing the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram or connect with us on our website at www.mharslc.orgLearn More
Twenty law enforcement officers participated in Lorain County Crisis Intervention Team Training April 4-8.
Training consisted of presentations from several Lorain County agencies that work with those struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders. The officers also heard from individuals and families with lived experience to understand how to better help when in crisis. In addition, they learned how to properly engage with someone experiencing a mental health crisis including de-escalation skills and even learned about QPR training for persons who may be suicidal.
The officers learned about the many resources in the Lorain County aimed at getting the assistance they need to prevent, among other things, unnecessary incarcerations.
Graduates were from the following departments:
- Amherst Police Department
- Avon Police Department
- Elyria Police Department
- Grafton Police Department
- Lorain County Adult Probation
- Lorain County Sheriff’s Office
- Lorain Police Department
- Sheffield Village Police Department
- Vermilion Police Department
Check out images from the CIT below.Learn More
Thanks to everyone who came out and made Drug Take Back Day a success – from those who dropped off their unused medications to those who volunteered and the law enforcement who collected the meds.
In total, 4,047.3 pounds of unused meds were collected, according to the final count.
Here is how much was collected by location:
- Amherst, 556.2 lbs – 29 boxes
- Lorain Police, 540.8 lbs – 26 boxes
- Avon Lake, 253.2lbs – 13 boxes
- Oberlin Police, 250.6 lbs -15 boxes
- Lorain County Sheriff, 430.8 lbs – 32 boxes
- Wellington Police, 173.2 lbs – 10 boxes
- Elyria Police, 333.5 lbs – 24 boxes
- North Ridgeville Police, 309.2 lbs -13 boxes
- Avon Police, 598.6 lbs – 39 boxes
- Grafton Police 186.4 lbs – 13 boxes
- LaGrange Police, 82.2 lbs – 4 boxes
- Columbia Township, 147.4lbs – 8 boxes
- Kipton Police, 24 lbs – 2 boxes
- Sheffield Lake Police, 31.8 lbs – 1 box
- Sheffield Village Police, 36.4 lbs – 1 box
- Vermilion Police, 87 lbs – 6 boxes
Total collected – 4047.3
Amanda Divis serves as the Board’s Adult Behavioral Health Services Director. Following graduate school at Case Western Reserve University, Divis began her career conducting in-home community-based therapy for adolescents with co-occurring substance use and mental health concerns. She has addressed mental health and recovery needs with people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds in the individual, group, and family-based settings. She is dedicated to community-based mental health, addiction recovery and harm reduction programming. Divis is a resident of Avon Lake.Learn More
Rebecca Jones works at the MHARS Board of Lorain County as the Child and Adolescent Services Director. Jones is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor-Supervision with a Master of Education in Community Agency Counseling. Most recently, she served as a clinical director at the largest mental health care provider in the MHARS Board network. She has worked in community mental health for 20 years, with extensive experience in providing clinical oversight of behavioral health services to diverse populations. She is known for developing and implementing best-practice clinical programming to meet the needs of the community.Learn More