In 1963, President John F. Kennedy supported the community Mental Health Act to provide mental health, alcohol and drug services to persons in the community, not just in hospitals. Four years later, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation providing for the establishment of county-based community mental health/mental retardation boards.
The Hamilton County Community Mental Health Board was established in 1968 with the mission to serve residents of Hamilton County who suffered from mental illness. The newly established trustee board of 15 members began addressing responsibilities assigned to them with Thomas S. Grogan, Jr. as the Community Mental Health Board’s first Executive Director.
In 1990, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners voted to establish a separate Board of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) to serve the alcohol and other drug addiction population. John Y. Young became the ADAS Board’s first Executive Director. The County General Revenue fund, the Mental Health Board, and the Southwest Ohio Regional Council on Alcoholism supported the new ADAS Board to ensure services were adequately funded.
In 2006, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation permitting the commissioners who had formed separate mental health and alcohol and drug addiction service boards the authority to revisit their 1989 decision and create a combined board. Thus, the Hamilton County Commissioners voted to create a combined Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services in Hamilton County.
With this decision, the Mental Health Board and the ADAS Board were both dissolved. Effective October 19, 2006 a new entity, the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (MHRSB), was formed. Patrick Tribbe, who had been the President/CEO of the Mental Health Board since March 17, 1997 was named as the first President/CEO of the new Board.
Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Boards do not hire staff to directly provide service to residents. The Boards accomplish their mission and goals through contracts with various community agencies that are certified by the state to provide services. The Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board contracts with over 50 certified agencies for mental health, alcohol, and other drug services.
Together, the contract provider agencies offer an array of services to all age groups. The provider agencies use evidence-based and best practices to ensure effective treatment resulting in recovery for adults and resiliency for children.
Based on geographic area, five community mental health agencies were formed.
The passage of a Mental Health Tax Levy made expansion of mental health services possible. The tax levy was subsequently renewed and/or increased by voters in 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, and 2002.
Through legislation, Mental Health Boards assumed full financial responsibility for inpatient mental health care.
The Ohio General Assembly established the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction services giving the County Commissioners the authority to create a single combined Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board or separate boards.
Alcohol, Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) became a separate board.
The ADAS Board and Job and Family Services (JFS) partnered to create the Inter-Agency Managed Provision of Alcohol and Chemical Treatment program (IMPACT) to manage services for families involved with JFS needing Alcohol and other Drug treatment.
The ADAS and MH Boards, along with JFS, Juvenile Court, The Board of MR/DD, and the Family and Children First Council, agreed to pool funding to manage services for children and adolescents with the greatest needs in the county.
The MH and ADAS Boards joined with JFS to improve management of mental health, residential services, and information for children involved with JFS.
Mental Health Access Point (MHAP) was created as the front door to the services funded by the Mental Health Board standardizing entry and ensuring that mental health services are available, accessible, and consistently of high quality.
ADAS providers, dedicated to managing the care of services for Hamilton County providers, collaborated to form Recovery Link.
The MH and the ADAS Boards became part of the state wide “Multi-Agency Community Services Information System” (MACSIS) to facilitate electronic payment of provider billing claims.
The MH Board purchased buildings for offices and consumer-operated services on Auburn Avenue reducing long-term operating costs thus freeing more funds for services. The entire third floor is dedicated to providing training and meeting room space for contract agencies.
The MH Board and JFS partnered to manage services assumed from Magellan Public Solutions. The MHB-JFS Partnership also contracted with the Mental Health Access Point (MHAP) to create the Family Access Partnership (FAP) that manages clinical services for more than 1,500 individuals a year.
The Recovery Health Access Center (RHAC) was created to be the front door to ADAS providing a centralized 24-hour service center supporting individuals and families throughout the treatment process.
The Recovery Center of Hamilton County, using funds from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and the Ohio Department of Mental Health, opened on Auburn Avenue providing a consumer-focused, peer-supported environment of learning and growth for persons in recovery from mental illness.
The ADAS and MH Boards were dissolved and a new entity, the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (MHRSB), was formed.