Issue 9, the Lorain County Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Renewal Levy Passes with Overwhelming Support from Voters
Voters approved – with 72.42% support in all but one precinct reporting as of 9:30 p.m. – a renewal of a five-year Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Levy in Lorain County to ensure that families continue to have access to mental health crisis options in emergencies, treatment and prevention programs for children and adults, and addiction recovery services.
“We would like to thank all residents in Lorain County for showing their support of evidenced based prevention and treatment services,” said Michael Doud, Executive Director. “The passage of this levy allows the Board to reinforce a strategic plan to best utilize service delivery today and provides hope for tomorrow. We are committed to meeting the recovery needs of our service area with evidence-based programming that will strengthen our community and individuals in need of mental health care. This YES vote allows us to better provide for those in need.” The Board would like to thank our coalition of providers, our partners, and community volunteers. On behalf of the nearly 16,000 Lorain County residents who receive mental health and recovery services across our health network, we would especially like to thank the voters for their continued support.
“The Board and staff are very grateful to the community for their belief in the work and services the Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services Board does in Lorain County,” said Board Chair Dan Urbin.
About the Levy:
The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services levy was a renewal of a $3.9 million, 0.6- mill, 5-year levy on the November 8, 2022, ballot. It is less than $1.25/month ($14.95/year) per $100,000 of property value. This levy, which won’t raise taxes, is one of the smallest in Lorain
County. State and federal funding for mental health and addiction treatment has remained relatively flat. In Lorain County, local support typically provides 59% of the annual operating budget that makes services possible. Passage of the renewal levy continues valued mental health and
addiction services to sustain a safe, vibrant community.
Memories of loved ones lost to accidental overdose and stories of recovery were shared Aug. 31 at the International Overdose Awareness Day vigil at Lorain County Community College. The vigil was organized by the Lorain County Opioid Action Team.
There were 143 lives lost to accidental overdose in Lorain County in 2021. Events like these help to erase the stigma associated with addiction and raise awareness of resources available in the community. The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County thanks all the community partners who provided information and resources to help reduce overdose deaths in Lorain County.Learn More
The Friends of the MHARS Board hosted an open house at the Amy Levin Center at the MHARS Board offices Sept. 19, providing attendees with an opportunity to learn more about what we do, meet members of our board and staff, and learn about volunteer opportunities.
We thank the approximately 100 people who attended. If you are interested in supporting the campaign but were unable to attend, click here to sign up for various options to support us in getting this critical levy renewal, Issue 9, passed on Nov. 8. Issue 9 is a five-year renewal of the existing levy funding the MHARS Board, and is not a tax increase. Learn more about Issue 9 at voteforissue9.com.
Check out scenes from the event below, and find out how you can help support the critical work of the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County by voting for Issue 9.Learn More
The Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County – in partnership with The MAD* Factory, Cleveland Mural & Paint and United Way of Greater Lorain County – recently unveiled the suicide prevention awareness mural in Lorain. MHARS Board Executive Director Michael Doud, Program Officer Lauren Cieslak, and Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley all provided remarks.
The mural is located at The MAD* Factory at 2655 Broadway Ave., Lorain, OH 44052. It offers the important reminder that no one is alone and “We’re So Glad You’re Here” and, in Spanish, “Estamos Contentos Que Estas Aqui.”
Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped make this mural possible!
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S., with 45,979 deaths in 2020 – or about one death every 11 minutes.
There is help for anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide. The Crisis Textline is a free and confidential way to connect with a counselor by texting 4Hope to 741-741. In a crisis, those in need of help can call 9-8-8. The English/Spanish Navigator Line is also a great resource to get connected with non-emergency resources in Lorain County by calling 440-240-7025.Learn More
In support of those on the front lines of the opioid crisis, the Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County and volunteers showed their gratitude for First Responders Week of Appreciation. Volunteers took thank you baskets to law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, children’s service workers, 911 dispatchers, behavioral health workers, and others helping to save lives in Lorain County.
Thank you, first responders, for all you do! Here are some scenes from deliveries throughout Lorain County.
LORAIN, OHIO – The Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to place a five-year renewal of an existing levy funding the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County on the November 2022 ballot.
Voters last approved, with 74 percent support, a five-year levy in 2018 to ensure that families have mental health crisis options in emergencies, treatment and prevention programs for children and adults, and addiction recovery services. The MHARS renewal levy is critical to ensure cost effective prevention and intervention programs continue.
The levy request on the November ballot, won’t raise taxes, but it will continue to promote stronger, safer communities by funding programs essential to effective mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
“Nearly 16,000 Lorain County residents received mental health and recovery services across our health network in 2020,” said Michael Doud, Executive Director. “The levy, which won’t raise taxes, continues to care for individuals in Lorain County and their families in times of crisis.”
With the construction of the new Lorain County Crisis Receiving Center – a 32-bed facility for those experiencing mental health and substance use disorder crises – the levy renewal will be an essential part of strengthening the crisis continuum in the county.
“This levy will not raise taxes,” said Dan Urbin, Chair of the MHARS Board of Directors. “In 2021, there were 147 overdose deaths. The number of overdoses from January to May 2022 has surpassed the number of overdoses from the same time period last year, January to May 2021. These dollars are essential to address mental health and the addiction epidemic in Lorain County.”
The levy will be assigned an issue number in September. The voter registration deadline for the November 8 election is October 11.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
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