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New Mental Health Laws in Ohio & Cuyahoga County’s Response

New Mental Health Laws in Ohio & Cuyahoga County’s Response

  Ohio recently passed new laws to make mental health care more accessible. One such law comes from Senate Bill 2. This new Ohio law surrounding mental health focuses on getting low-level and non-violent criminals treatment when needed. Qualifying offenders will receive a court-ordered mental health evaluation in an outpatient setting. One of the goals with the passing of this new Ohio mental health law is to free up state psychiatric hospitals so that these facilities are reserved to treat people with more serious mental health disorders. The new law also added Ohio to the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), an interstate agreement to facilitate psychological services across jurisdictional boundaries. This agreement would help increase access to care for anyone crossing state lines. Another new behavioral law in Ohio comes from Senate Bill 57. This law now authorizes a property tax exemption for providers of long-term supportive housing for people with a mental disability or a substance use disorder. Legislatures hope that this law will help the state’s goal to end homelessness, especially for those struggling with behavioral health conditions.

Cuyahoga County on New Ohio Mental Health Laws

Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, has already started to take action in response to these new Ohio mental health policies. The county recently opened the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center to help people struggling with behavioral health problems who would otherwise be sent to jail without care. Police in Cuyahoga county can now use this facility to get people immediate treatment rather than putting them behind bars. When called to a scene, police can contact a 24-hour hotline that will help them determine if someone could benefit from this program and then would transport those who qualify to the facility. The voluntary patients will typically spend a few days at the facility before being directed to higher-level mental health care in Cuyahoga County if needed. The county hopes that this new resource and approach will break the cycle of incarceration and strives to be a model for other parts of the state. Substance use and mental health conditions can quickly spiral out of control. Stop waiting until the authorities are involved to get help. Our mental health professionals are here to assist you or your loved one. Contact us today to get started.