Ohio’s youth are facing a lack of services amid a shortage of behavioral health providers, while social media and sports betting could create more problems. Meanwhile, employers are seeing that mental health difficulties among their staff are hindering productivity. Here’s a look at how Ohio is working to address these behavioral health challenges.
Group Efforts Seek to Provide Youth Behavioral Health Services
Like other parts of the country, Ohio is experiencing a shortage of providers that has left many young people without helpful behavioral health services. Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services in Seneca County and Seneca County Job and Family Services have created a consortium to provide effective solutions for youth with behavioral health needs. This collaborative effort includes different area groups such as Seneca Department of Job and Family Services, Tiffin City Schools, and Seneca Juvenile Court.
One aim of the consortium is to create group settings and programs for youth and families to learn better coping and social skills while receiving peer support. Participating agencies have identified groups that can address most youth behavioral health needs in the community, and are working to assign facilitators to these group. The consortium will then share information about available services with the community.
Ohio Proposal Would Address Social Media Use in Youth
In other moves to address minors’ mental health, Ohio lawmakers have proposed the Social Media Parental Notification Act. This act would require parental permission before children under age 16 can use certain social media platforms. The proposal would “give parents a chance to know what’s going on with their child’s social media and the platforms they’re using,” says Tony Coder from the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.
Other legal moves include allocating $8 million over two years for suicide prevention programs under Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget. This budget also would use $100 million to create the SOAR Program and another $50 million for Medicaid mental health initiatives.
New Toolkit Could Help Workplace Mental Health
Employees who face anxiety or depression may often miss work, reducing productivity and expenses for employers. The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and Cardinal Health have teamed up to create the Employer Mental Health Toolkit, which aims to help employers address mental health issues in the workplace.
The toolkit includes data on how mental health can affect the workplace, a checklist to help them meet staff needs, links to training modules, and information about other resources. Since launching in April 2023, several hundred Ohio employers have adopted the toolkit.
Sports Gambling Legalization in Ohio Could Raise Addiction Risks
Sports betting has been legal in Ohio since Jan. 1, 2023, but groups such as Problem Gambling Network of Ohio are concerned that it could encourage gambling addiction among college students. The Ohio State University created a page to help raise awareness of the signs of problem gambling and how to get help.
Data from the NCAA found that 58 percent of young adults aged 18 to 22 have participated in at least one sports betting activity, and that 67 percent of students living on college campuses bet on sports.
The NCAA also found that betting ads can be highly influential on college students.Whether you serve behavioral health clients in Ohio or elsewhere in the United States, BestNotes EHR solutions were designed for you. Our customizable software reduces clicks and double data entry, and automatically updates so you can stay compliant with state regulatory changes. Contact us today to schedule a demo!