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OhioMHAS NewsNow



 April 27, 2021

>>> Governor DeWine Signs Bills Into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today signed the following bills into law:

  • Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), regards requirements for competency evaluations and mental health treatment in criminal cases, and enters Ohio into the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT). 
  • Senate Bill 57, sponsored by Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), authorizes a property tax exemption for permanent supportive housing properties used by individuals suffering from a mental disability or substance abuse disorder. 


Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director Lori Criss provided brief remarks during the Governor’s virtual bill signing ceremony. The Department thanks the members of the General Assembly, Retired Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton and our stakeholders for their advocacy in supporting passage of these measures. Click HERE to view a list of proponent testimony for SB 2 and HERE for a list of proponent testimony for SB 57. 


>>> HHS Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines

In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it is releasing new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating more people. The Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder exempt eligible physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives from federal certification requirements related to training, counseling, and other ancillary services that are part of the process for obtaining a waiver to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine.


>>> Ohio State to Host Virtual Mental Health Fair – May 3-7

In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will host a virtual Mental Health Fair on May 3-7.  The Fair will features cutting-edge educational programming and presentations by experts in the mental health field are scheduled to take place daily over the lunch hour to accommodate varying work schedules. Attendees can sign up for selected sessions or all of them. Click the link for the full agenda. Registration is required. Questions? Please email [email protected] or call 614.564.7575.


>>> GEERS Rise and Thrive: COVID-19 Vaccines -- The Way Out of the Pandemic – May 19

As part of the Best Practices for College Communities in the Time of COVID-19 webinar series, Prevention Action Alliance, with support from OhioMHAS, will host GEERS Rise and Thrive: COVID-19 Vaccines - The Way Out of the Pandemic on May 19 at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Thomas File will lead a general review of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight clinical studies and the importance of vaccines to combat the pandemic. Deeper discussion will involve characteristics of vaccines including safety and efficacy, side effects and need for access. Dr. File is chair of the Infectious Disease Division and co-director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at Summa Health in Akron and professor of Internal Medicine, master teacher, and chair of the Infectious Disease Section at Northeast Ohio Medical University. 


>>> Virtual Prevention Action & Advocacy Summit – May 20

Prevention Action Alliance will host its virtual Prevention Action and Advocacy Summit on May 20 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Summit provides education and understanding around emerging issues in prevention. This year’s program will address racism, its impacts on social determinants of health, and how prevention should be part of the solution. Cost is $49. Click the link for presenter information and HERE to register. 


For information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). For behavioral health-specific information, visit: For behavioral health-related questions, email [email protected]. For COVID-19-related OTP questions, email [email protected], for Housing questions, email [email protected], for Telehealth questions, email [email protected], and for Vaccine questions email [email protected]. Ohio Careline 1-800-720-9616. Click HERE for a list of pop-up COVID-19 Testing Sites and HERE for the latest SAMHSA COVID-19 training and technical assistance resources.


In the News

4.27.01 | WOIO-TV Ohio governor signs two bills into law dealing with mental health care and property taxes

4.26.21 | SpectrumNews1 Covering the town in chalk: Kent teenager hosts event for suicide prevention awareness

4.26.21 | WEWS-TV Summit County officers get prepared for mental illness calls with Crisis Intervention Training

4.26.21 | WKRC-TV Join NAMI Southwest Ohio for its Virtual Event: NAMIWalks Your Way: A United Day of Hope 

4.26.21 | WTRF-TV Annual Belmont County Suicide Prevention Walk Raises Awareness

4.26.21 | WKEF-TV Addiction treatment provider expanding in Dayton region, creating 25 jobs

4.26.21 | Public News Service Keeping Ohio kids safe a shared priority

4.25.21 | Toledo Blade Believe the HYPE: Behavioral health company celebrates new location’s grand opening

4.25.21 | SpectrumNews1 Nonprofit gives out Narcan to help reduce opioid overdoses

4.25.21 | Toledo Blade CDC reports record number of overdose deaths over 12-month period

4.24.21 | WSAZ-TV Rio Grande holds suicide prevention awareness event

4.24.21 | WCMH-TV National Take Back Day aims to prevent drug abuse and save lives

4.24.21 | WTOL-TV Demand for mental health services leaves appointments scarce, but other resources available for help

4.24.21 | WTOL-TV COVID-19 vaccines made available for those with mental health and substance use disorders


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Eric R. Wandersleben

Director of Media Relations & Outreach


Ohio Department of Mental Health

  and Addiction Services

30 East Broad Street, 36th Floor

Columbus, Ohio  43215







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