Who We Are
The Mental Health and Recovery Services of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is a volunteer Board made up of clients, family members, and other community leaders representing the counties it serves. The Board is the community mental health and addiction planning agency, much similar to a School Board. The Board does not directly provide mental health and/or addiction services. The Board contracts with various agencies for mental health and/or addiction services. Services include prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties was established May 28, 1968, through consultation with the three Boards of County Commissioners, which determined which county would be Host County. Because of the central location of Seneca County, it was chosen to be Host County, which also meant it would be listed first (rather than alphabetically) in the Board’s title.
The passage of House Bill 648 in 1967 signaled the beginning of a community-based system of care by establishing Community Mental Health Boards throughout Ohio. Further progress and commitment to community-based services was demonstrated through the passage of Senate Bill 160 in 1980; followed by Senate Bill 156, The Mental Health Act of 1988. Finally, the passage of House Bill 317 established Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Boards while maintaining separate Community Mental Health Boards in Ohio’s largest counties. All other Boards were named Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Boards, which has morphed into Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Its main role is to monitor, evaluate, assess, prioritize and plan for mental health and addiction services in the counties it serves. Many times, the Board proposes and plans for new services to be made available or to expand on current services. A recent example of new services is recovery housing for individuals recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Other recent example for expansion of services is crisis intervention 24/7, where the Board proposed an increase in available therapists to respond to crisis situations. These decisions are made based on community need assessments, clients and families feedback, community agencies demand, needs and gaps.
WHAT WE DO
The statute that governs the creation, authority and activities of Boards is in Chapter 340 of the Ohio Revised Code. 340 requires Boards to assess community needs, set priorities, and develop plans for the operation of facilities and services. Boards submit an annual plan to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS), which the Board intends to contract for the services, how these services will be paid, a statement of the inpatient services the Board proposed ODMH provide, an assessment of the number and types of residential facilities needed, and a budget.
Multi-county Boards are taxing authorities, and as such, can levy a tax for the operation of mental health and alcohol and drug addiction programs. Also for the acquisition, construction, renovation, financing, maintenance and operation of such facilities. Boards are required to monitor and evaluate services for cost effectiveness and treatment efficacy.
Boards abide by the Ohio Sunshine Law, which include both the Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act.
Boards receive, retain and disclose individually identifiable health information on a regular basis. Therefore, the Board must follow confidentiality laws, both Federal and State.
For multi-county Boards, no authority exists for the county prosecuting attorney to represent the Board. Thus, legal counsel for a multi-county Board is secured through private legal counsel.
The County Auditor in which the Board is located (if a multi-county Board) is the statutorily-designated fiscal officer of the Board. Funds are placed in the county treasury. Payments on the recommendation of the Board are authorized by the County Auditor, who must submit a monthly detailed statement of all receipts, disbursements, and ending balances of Board funds.