Mahoning Mental Health Board Tackles Problems

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board joined Mahoning County Public Health and the Youngstown City Health District in 2022 to tackle two major concerns: overdose deaths and suicide.

Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone) provided free Narcan kits to community organizations for dissemination. The board established a suicide fatality review committee to proclaim suicide a serious public health problem and to examine contributing factors and patterns. The board also created teams to provide outreach to families who have experienced a loss due to suicide or overdose.

As a part of its diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, the board began working with Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on a project to address social determinates of health in minority and underserved communities, says Duane Piccirilli, executive director. The board also established a $5,000 scholarship at Youngstown State University for an African American student living in Mahoning County who is interested in pursuing a degree in social work.

The board’s crisis intervention team, which provides training for law enforcement to intercede with individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, graduated 37 law enforcement officers and three clergy members in 2022. More than 500 officers in Mahoning County have been trained, according to Piccirilli.

Building on the momentum of the opening of the Campus of Care in 2021, infrastructure improvements were started in 2022. Organizations on the campus include Alta Care Group, Compass Family and Community Services, Flying High Inc., Meridian Healthcare, Potential Development, Cadence Care Network, I Am Boundless Inc. and The Workshops Inc.

“All the progress of the board would not have been possible without the support of the Mahoning County taxpayers,” Piccirilli says. “We are looking forward to this new year to continue to meet the needs of our community.”