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.
International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil Honors Lives Lost in Lorain County
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
PHOTOS: Friends of the MHARS Board Open House
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
MHARS Board & Community Partners Unveil Suicide Prevention Mural
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
PHOTOS: First Responders Week of Appreciation
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.
Renewal Levy for Lorain County MHARS Board Placed on November 2022 Ballot
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
Suicide Prevention Mural Unveiling Event on Sept. 24
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and you’re invited to join us on Sept. 24 when we unveil the first public art mural created to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide education on suicide prevention in Lorain County. This family-friendly event, in partnership with the MAD* Factory, is free and open to the public.
WHERE: MAD* Factory Lorain, 2655 Broadway Ave., Lorain, OH 44052
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 24 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Questions? Contact lcieslak@MHARSLC.org
Click here to view the event flyer.Learn More
MHARS Board of Lorain County Announces New Board Officers
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
Fentanyl Has Increased Overdoses in Lorain County
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