DeWine announces pediatric behavioral health initiative – The Tribune

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COLUMBUS — As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday the Pediatric Behavioral Health Initiative, an $84 million investment, to increase access to care and expand capacity across the state so children and their families can get services and supports for their behavioral health needs in or near their communities.

“The need to increase access to behavioral health care has grown nationally for years. I am pleased that here in Ohio we are focused on expanding treatment capacity and improving accessibility for children and their families,” DeWine said. “When children are mentally, physically, and physically stable and healthy, they are more likely to do better in school, avoid potentially risky behaviors, and make smarter decisions, setting them on paths that will help them reach their full potential.”

This initiative uses dedicated ARPA investments to expand infrastructure and strengthen local partnerships so Ohio’s children can get the specialized care they need. The funding was allocated in HB 168, sponsored by Rep. Mark Frazier and Rep. Mike Loychick, passed by the General Assembly last year. It will expand behavioral health services for inpatients and outpatients regionally.

Recipients include:

• $7 million: Akron Children’s Hospital to help establish regional behavioral health centers to provide psychiatric services, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs and outpatient therapy. This project will increase access to behavioral health services in local communities and provide opportunities to partner with community organizations to address service gaps.

• $10 million: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to help fund their new inpatient facility on the College Hill campus, which will include private rooms for all of their patients, a new inpatient program neurobehavioral therapy, as well as a severe behavioral day treatment program, dedicated areas for therapy and additional treatment space.

• $25 million: Dayton Children’s Hospital to help construct a new mental health building that would double inpatient treatment capacity, expand the partial hospitalization program, increase access to psychological services and would add a transition service to ensure smooth transitions for children and their families as they transition from one level of care to another.

• $17 million: ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital to renovate existing space in its inpatient pediatric psychiatry unit, establish an outpatient outpatient building with full resources to better serve families and work with partners to develop services and programs to meet community needs.

• $15 million: University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s to renovate and expand their inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric unit, creating sensory spaces and leveraging technology to better accommodate patients.

• $6.45 million: Appalachian Children’s Coalition: Integrated Behavioral Health Services to expand Youth and Family Wellness Center in Chillicothe, strengthen Southeast Ohio’s behavioral health care system and reduce the need for families to travel long distances to receive specialized care. Integrated Services also plans to use the funding to help renovate the Mary Hill Center for Youth building in Nelsonville, Ohio, and fund family-friendly recovery housing.

• $3.55 million: Appalachian Children’s Coalition: Hopewell Health Centers to renovate space at local schools in Southeast Ohio to house fully integrated health centers to help meet care needs primary, behavioral health and therapeutic schools. In addition, the funds will be used to renovate the Hopewell Health Centers REACH partial hospitalization program buildings.
Nationally, one in five children suffers from a mental health problem each year. According to the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, there are currently 10 child psychiatrists for every 100,000 children and adolescents; however, it is estimated that nationally we need 47 child psychiatrists per 100,000 population. The need is growing. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of children hospitalized for mental health reasons increased by 163% nationally.

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