The Ottawa County Commissioners announced at a public hearing this week its decision to join the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky, and Wyandot Counties. The move would ensure uninterrupted services to clients, now that the Erie County Commissioners adopted an April resolution to withdraw from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.
Ottawa County Commissioners Mark Stahl, Mark Coppeler and Donald Douglas have agreed to withdraw from the joint board, as requested by Erie County. They want the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to consent to allow Ottawa County to withdraw from the joint district effective June 30.
Ottawa County Commissioners were required to join another county health and addiction services district due to the population size of Ottawa County, which is less than 50,000 residents.
Commissioner Stahl stated that “we are thankful to the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky & Wyandot Counties in reaching out to Ottawa County with the opportunity to join their board, and to maintain uninterrupted services to our residents during this time of transition.”
According to Executive Director Brenda Cronin, the Erie/Ottawa board supported more than 220 services in prevention, intervention and treatment of mental health and addiction.
In fiscal year 2020, services were accessed 98,000 times, she said. 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 citizens.
“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,” said Cronin.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties had passed a 5-year renewal levy in the Nov. 5, 2019 election that generates $1.9 million each year, in addition to the November 2016 ten-year levy that generates approximately $2.6 million to supplement its annual budget.
Last year, 294 Erie and Ottawa residents were admitted to detox services, while 111 took advantage of the availability of recovery housing.