Mahoning Mental Health Board Gets More Funds

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board secured a 9% budget increase, roughly $900,000, through federal, state and local awards in 2018, allowing the agency to collaborate with county partners to create programs to help fill the mental health and recovery needs of Mahoning Valley residents.

Paramount was the collaboration with Mercy Health and the Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers that secured state funds for a regional detox unit at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, says Executive Director Duane Piccirilli.

State funds also were secured to provide for expansion of the regional crisis unit at Compass Family and Community Services in Youngstown.

“State dollars provided funding for the Strong Families, Safe Communities program in Mahoning County,” Piccirilli continues. “This state initiative provides care coordination and support for families with children in crisis who present a risk to themselves or others, because of mental illness or a developmental disability.”

The board secured a grant and match from the Mercy Health Foundation to allow Neil Kennedy Centers, Meridian HealthCare, Flying High and Mercy Health to offer peer-recovery support services, he adds, which are a key part of providing support.

The Mercy Foundation also teamed up with the board and the Area Agency on Aging to provide a safety net for those who are not eligible for other established programs.

And the recovery board helped secure funding to support the Specialized Docket Veterans Court, suicide prevention services, prison re-entry programs and expanded emergency services in the community.

In November, Mahoning County voters passed Issue 2, which provided the board with a funding increase. “The generosity of Mahoning County will allow funding to be earmarked for clinical services in our county schools and to reinforce the infrastructure of our provider agencies,” Piccirilli says.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.