Nichole Hannahs

Mental Health Changes

by Nichole Hannahs on June 26, 2012 at 6:30 am

The face of mental health is changing in our area.

The Mental Health and Recovery board serves Muskingum and five surrounding counties. They consist of Six County, Tompkins Child and Adolescent and Muskingum Behavioral Health.

Rod Hollingsworth is the executive director and said in the past clients either had an alcohol or mental health issue, now the lines have blurred.

They’re also seeing more youths being treated.

"As far as drugs and alcohol go you never really saw somebody under the age of 16, "explained Hollingsworth. "If you look at the studies and even studies we’ve done kids are starting as young as 11 or 12 with drugs or alcohol. What’s available in the home."

Hollingsworth attributes the increase in the need for experimentation. In the last three years the Mental Health and Recovery Board has partnered with Genesis to try and streamline services so those in need get help quickly.

"People that have drug or alcohol issues we’re seeing at the hospital," said Hollingsworth. "We arrange for the follow up visit and try to do that immediately after they are discharged."

Affecting the agencies is the constant need for funding. Hollingworth said that they’ve seen state and federal money cut and need voters to pass a renewal levy in November so they continue to provide services to those in need.