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Board Brochures

Mind Your Health

What is the Mental Health and Recovery Board?

The Mental Health & Recovery Board (MHRB) is the local government agency charged with planning, developing, funding, managing and evaluating a range of mental health and alcohol and drug abuse and addiction services and programs. The board is governed by eighteen local citizens appointed by the County Commissioners, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health Addiction Services (OhioMHAS).

The creation of Ohio’s county-based system of alcohol, drug and/or mental health care began MORE THAN 40 YEARS ago with the passage of H.B. 648 in 1967 to ensure that mental health services were available throughout Ohio. In 1988, the Mental Health Act, which expanded the roles and responsibilities of the Boards, was enacted. A year later, H.B. 317, the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Act, was passed which added alcohol and drug addiction responsibilities to most Boards.

These laws serve as a foundation for a community based system that is consumer and family-focused, is accountable to taxpayers, has the support of local residents, and ensures the delivery of culturally competent, quality services.

What is the role of the MHRB?

The Board ensures local management and control over planning and administering alcohol, drug addiction and mental health prevention, treatment and support services to meet the unique needs of Erie & Ottawa County residents.

Responsibilities include:

  • Creating and maintaining a system that provides for alcohol, drug and/or mental health services at the community level
  • Determining the type of services, programs and facilities that are needed based on need assessments and community input
  • Designating treatment services for those involuntarily committed to the board’s care
  • Ensure involvement and input by consumers (persons who use the services)
  • Entering into contracts with public and private agencies for the provision of services
  • Reviewing, evaluating and auditing the delivery of services
  • Administering federal, state and local funds
  • Recruiting and promoting local financial support for services

What Types of Services Does the Board Contract for?

The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties (MHRBEO) does not serve clients. Instead, contracts are entered into with agencies and other providers with the expertise to do so.

A range of services are available locally such as:

  • Diagnostic assessment & evaluation
  • Counseling—individual, group & family
  • Home-based family treatment
  • Crisis Care—emergency services, hotline, crisis intervention
  • Intensive Outpatient treatment
  • Case management and Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) Services
  • Pre-hospital screening and Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Vocational & Employment Services
  • Medication
  • Peer Support Services
  • Recovery/Resiliency Support Services
  • Prevention, Intervention & Education
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation & Treatment

Principles, Values & Organizational Purpose

The Board is regulated by State and Federal funding, program and service population requirements. Consistent with these principles and the mission (as an oversight agency and a guardian of State, Federal and local laws and values) to reduce the incidence and severity of alcohol, drug addiction and mental health problems experienced by persons of all ages, the following values serve as the Board’s organizational purpose:
  • Persons with Serious Mental Illness and Serious and Persistent Mental Illness will move toward Recovery.
  • General public will understand the importance of prevention and early intervention relative to behavioral health.
  • Clients of the public behavioral health system will benefit from effective programming across all levels of the continuum of care.
  • Youth and their families will benefit from targeted, family-focused interventions and treatment.
  • Clients of the public behavioral health system will receive individualized treatment based on their mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
  • Consumers will have choice among clinicians, service providers and treatment options.
  • Residents of Erie and Ottawa Counties will benefit from a stable and diversified economic base supporting local mental health and alcohol/drug services.

If you would like more information or would like to request a speaker, please contact the Board office at 419-627-1908 or 


Good Health is not just Physical...It's Mental too!

Mental Health, Mental Illness, Alcohol, other drug abuse & Addiction

What is Mental Health?

Mental Health is how you feel about yourself, others, your life and how you are able to meet and handle the demands of life. Mental health is not the absence of problems, but the ability of the person to address the problems with appropriate coping skills.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders that can profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, moods, ability to related to others, and capacity for coping with the demands of life. Mental illnesses include disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bi-polar disorder.

What is addiction to alcohol/other drugs?

Contrary to popular belief, addiction is NOT a moral or character defect. It is a brain disease characterized by many factors including a strong craving for drugs/alcohol, continued use despite harm or personal injury, the inability to limit drug use/drinking, physical illness when using stops, and the need to increase the amount used in order to feel the effects.

What is alcohol/other drug abuse?

Abuse is a pattern of drug use/drinking that often results in harm to one’s health, can cause problems with interpersonal relationships, can impact one’s ability to fulfill responsibilities at work, school or home, and can cause legal problems. Abuse can lead to addiction.

Untreated mental illness and addiction are key factors in virtually every domestic and/or social problem Ohio faces including crime, child abuse and neglect, homelessness, chronic welfare, and the rise in learning disabled and conduct disordered children. If we fail to treat the disease, there is little hope in stemming the consequences.

Is treatment effective?

Yes. In fact, due to recent advances in brain research, medications, and psychotherapy, treatment is more effective than ever now. Treatment and interventions for people with mental illness are becoming more specialized and effective, on par with—and often more successful than—medical interventions for “physical” illnesses. Likewise, treatment of addiction is as successful as treatment of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

Mental health and chemical dependency professionals use a variety of approaches to give people tools to deal with ingrained, troublesome patterns of behavior and to help them manage symptoms of their illness.  Sometimes this involves a single method, or it may involve elements of several different methods such as therapy and medication.

What prevents people from seeking treatment?

A recent study conducted in April 2008 found that financial considerations are the leading barrier to receiving care, either through lack of insurance coverage (52%) or concerns over cost (42%).  Sixty-eight percent cited access to care and lack of knowledge of the process as a reason for not seeking treatment. Stigma, concerns over others finding out, and issues related to privacy were mentioned by 56% of adults responding.

Sources: Behavioral Health: Developing a Better Understanding, “The Cost of Mental Illness When Gone Untreated,” Vol. I, Issue I; Behavioral Health: Developing a Better Understanding, “Cost of Untreated Addiction," Vol. I, Issue II; Harris Interactive & American Psychological Association Study, April 2008. 

As a result of local levy funds—approximately one-third of the Board’s budget—mental health and alcohol/drug services are available to residents of Erie and Ottawa Counties on a sliding payment schedule based on income and family size. That means access to care is not affected by lack of insurance, the cost of treatment, or inability to pay.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board (MHRB) of Erie and Ottawa Counties is the local government agency charged with planning, developing, funding, managing and evaluating a range of mental health and alcohol/drug prevention, treatment and support services and programs.

For more information

If you or someone you know would like to find out more about available mental health and/or alcohol and drug services, please contact us.

Bayshore Counseling Services.................................................................................................419-626-9156 

Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services.............................................................................419-557-5177

Mental Health & Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties..............419-627-1908 or 1-800-627-4999

CRISIS HOTLINE 1-800-826-1306

For Information on the local resources you may need DIAL 2-1-1

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