One of the many items the voters of Scioto County will decide in the upcoming election, will be a levy for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS) of Scioto, Lawrence and Adams Counties. If approved the levy would provide additional resources for those needing mental health or addiction services.
The ADAMHS Board is empowered by state law to establish a community support system. Locally the board has taken on the important task of contracting for prevention and treatment services for Adams, Lawrence and Scioto County residents including a 24-hour crisis service which helps people and their families in crisis.
According to campaign information, if approved the levy will allow the ADAMHS Board to continue to support families and individuals with mental health and addiction needs. Without levy funding, there will be a decrease in availability of services, due to significant cuts in state funding over the past six years. The levy funding will provide a safety net for individuals and families that do not have Medicaid or insurance, needing mental health and/or alcohol/drug addiction services.
Marcy Kristian, ADAMHS Board Fiscal Manager, said, if approved, the 1.5 mill 10 year levy would cost the average taxpayer with a $58,000 home, $30.45 a year.
She said the ADAMHS Board has several ideas as to what new programs and services could be brought to the community with the funding provided by the levy.
“We want to possibly expand into the jails and get to the people before they’re released, to inform them of available services. We want to help with housing and we would love to get a crisis center for teens, opened. There is currently nothing available for them (teens).” Kristian said. “We would like to increase prevention services in the schools. We would like to get into area grade schools, to try to stop the kids from using (drugs).”
As a part of the campaign the ADAMHS Board and supporters are looking to inform the community of the cost benefits, for people seeking mental health or addiction services.
According to campaign material, the cost of treating mental health conditions is lower than the cost to the community when people do not receive needed help. For every dollar invested in treatment, there is a $7 savings to other systems (such as jails, courts, children’s protective services, schools and employers).
She said there’s a desire to form a crisis response team that would respond to any crisis in the community.
“Anytime there’s a disaster like the shooting in Pike County or heaven forbid we have a shooting at one of the schools, or if there is a suicide at one of the schools there would be a team of people that would be called upon to respond to it. The team would not be for a particular situation, but anytime tragedy hits,” Kristian said.
This levy is unique because it will also be on the ballot in Adams and Lawrence Counties.
“If it passes anywhere (within the three counties) it (levy funding) will cover all three counties,” Kristian said.
The levy is estimated to bring in $4 million a year roughly.
Kristian said everyone at the ADAMHS board is crossing their fingers and toes, the levy passes, so increased services can be brought to the community.
For more information about programs and services of the ADAMHS Board visit them on Facebook.
ADAMHS Board volunteers walking in a recent parade in support of a levy.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter.