Local $526K grant to help at-risk youth, increase family stability


WILMINGTON – Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRS), the local board of mental health and addiction services, has received a $526,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to address the needs of at-risk youth and their families. MHRS is one of 11 boards across Ohio to receive a grant.

The grant is part of the state’s Strong Families, Safe Communities initiative, which is aimed at improving care coordination and providing support for families with children in crisis and help them avoid psychiatric hospitalizations and treatment in residential facilities.

The grant represents an expansion of two prior Strong Families, Safe Communities grants that MHRS has received. The state will pay the grant in two installments during fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

“This grant will help us continue to provide intensive services in what research shows is the best environment for high-risk kids to achieve success,” said MHRS Associate Director Patti Ahting, who leads the local project. “We always strive to provide services in the natural environment – places like home, school and community settings.”

The program covered by the grant involves several key areas: early intervention through schools and other child-serving agencies to identify warning signs and make referrals; implementation of the specialized team to provide the care coordination, treatment and crisis response; and recovery supports to ensure the kids succeed and the family is safe.

Ahting said the grant will cover intensive services to at-risk youth through specially trained staff ready to meet the needs of the youth and families they serve.

The Home-Based Treatment team will also consult with other community partners to help at-risk youth. Students who are residents of Warren or Clinton counties, or who attend the Warren County Learning Center or the Southern Ohio Learning Center in Wilmington, and their families can benefit from the services that the grant funds.

Additionally, a Parent Peer Support worker will be housed at Southern Ohio Learning Center to offer support to family members. Ahting said all youth enrolled in the program will be eligible for recovery supports like respite care, community integration and family bonding events.

For more information about Ohio’s Strong Families, Safe Communities initiative, visit the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services website.

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