Serving all age groups, working for all communities
The Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) works to assure access to quality mental health services for Ohioans at all levels of need and life stages. It is estimated that nearly two million Ohioans will need mental health services during their lives for problems ranging from situational stress to severe and chronic mental illness. Last year, Ohio’s public mental health system provided care to more than 300,000 people, including 100,000 children.
The department is guided, in part, by the Mental Health Act of 1988. This landmark legislation had two primary goals--to move toward community treatment rather than institutional care and to emphasize local direction rather than state control. ODMH funds, reviews and monitors community mental health programs through 50 county-level boards. These boards, which in most cases oversee both mental health and addiction services, do not directly provide services. They act as local mental health authorities, contracting for services provided by hundreds of private agencies and the six public psychiatric hospitals operated by ODMH. Funding for community mental health services comes from federal, state and local sources. ODMH relies on state General Revenue Funds (GRF) for approximately half of its budget, and allocates GRF to local Boards for the purchase of community services, including bed days at the ODMH hospitals.
Supporting quality treatment in public and private hospitals
The state’s responsibility to provide public hospital care is defined in Ohio’s constitution. Formerly focused on long-term institutionalization, state hospitals have become small and specialized facilities providing short-term and intensive treatment as requested by local systems. Today, ODMH psychiatric hospitals provide inpatient care at six sites around the state to approximately 1,000 people on a daily basis.
These regional hospitals admit and discharge more than 6,000 people each year. The hospital system also provides outpatient services to 3,500 people annually through its Community Support Network programs via contracts with local mental health and alcohol, drug abuse and mental health (ADAMH) boards.
ODMH works with judges, jails and community mental health providers on programs to divert non-violent offenders to treatment instead of expensive incarceration. Our Office of Forensic Services links jail inmates with community mental health services upon release. In addition to operating its seven public hospitals, the department reviews community mental health agencies for compliance with certification standards and licenses private psychiatric hospital inpatient units and community residential programs.