EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a Guest Column from the The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.
Is the stress of disrupted routines, social distancing, and overall uncertainty of the future weighing on you? We’re all feeling extra stress these days.
It goes without saying that a number of individuals are struggling right now with a variety of issues such as addiction, depression, and anxiety. The past year has not been normal, and it’s okay to not feel okay. Help is available.
A good place to start is the Ohio Careline at 1-800-720-9616. This free, confidential support is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Or you may contact the local crisis hotline at 1-800-826-1306. Last year alone, more than 13,000 calls were made to the crisis hotline and we are so thankful that residents of Erie and Ottawa Counties used this service.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties (MHRBEO) works to ensure that counseling and support services, trained professionals, and evidence-based programs are available in our community.
Currently, the Board supports over 220 services in prevention, intervention and treatment of mental health and addiction. In FY 2020, services were accessed 98,000 times. Providers, such as the Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center, Erie County Detox Center, Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services and Bayshore Counseling Services, are provided funds to serve our citizens.
We know that because emotional support is also needed for our children, partnerships with local schools have been created to provide prevention, intervention, and treatment services. We are pleased to report that 15 schools are in this partnership targeting over 8,000 students.
Tragically, overdoses are on the rise in our community and we will continue to implement and support services that assist individuals and families with battling addiction. Last year, 294 Ottawa and Erie residents were admitted to detox services while 111 took advantage of the availability of recovery housing. Keep in mind there is no limit on the number of times that one can access services.
The Board wants to encourage the community to take advantage of the services available to each person. Do not let the fear of how much it will cost discourage you from seeking assistance. For those without insurance, or those not eligible for Medicaid, providers use a sliding fee scale so the costs are affordable.
In some cases, the board provides 100% of the service.
Call the Board at 419-627-1908 to learn more about services that are available. We invite feedback from members of the community and welcome those interested to join the MHRBEO at our board meetings held the third Tuesday of every month.
The location of the meetings may be found on our website www.mhrbeo.org.
Remember: If you or someone you know is suffering, call the Hotline at 1-800-826-1306 or anonymously text 4Hope to 741741 to get connected immediately any day, any time.