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Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on levy for mental health levy for Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties

Anchor 1

The need continues for mental health and addiction recovery services in the region.

That’s why we believe the need continues for a 0.5-mill levy for Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties. We urge voters to renew this levy in the Nov. 3 election.

This levy help programs you’re not even aware it helps. The money contributes to the services offered at Coleman Professional Services, Family Resource Center, Health Partners of Western Ohio, Hopeline, UMADAOP of Lima and the Partnership for Violence Free Families.

In 2014, more than 7,000 adults and more than 3,000 youth received treatment for a mental illness or substance abuse through one of the “We Care” agencies.

In 2014, the Hope Line, 1-800-567-HOPE, handled 11,178 calls, and 547 people used the Crisis Center there.

Anyone can walk into Coleman, the Family Resource Center or SAFY to talk to a mental health or addiction professional without an appointment. You can see an adult or childpsychiatrist in less than seven days.

These are all exceptional levels of service for a government agency that’s handling a difficult and growing problem in Ohio.


It’s a problem exacerbated by the influx of heroin into our region. This taxpayer-supported program is helping in the active recovery from heroin or pain pills for 503 people in Allen County, 168 people in Hardin County and 62 people in Auglaize County.


The programs also work with school districts in all three counties to try to reduce the number of people in the next generation of drug and alcohol abusers. It implemented a program called PAX, with nearly 300 teachers impacting more than 6,000 children a year with a program proven to significantly reduce substance abuse and mental illnesses in children over their lifetime.


While it’s had so much of a positive effect in the community, its board actually reduced its administrative costs by more than $120,000. Administrative costs represent only 6.95 percent of the total budget.

That puts even more of the $1.6 million raised by the levy back into the services that are so needed.

Voters have voiced their support for this particular 0.5 mill levy in the past. The organization has been wise with its money and not asked for an increase on this levy. It costs someone with a $100,000 home $11.88 per year, making it an affordable and good investment in the mental health of our community.

We urge voters in Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties to continue their support of these valuable programs. Vote “yes” on Tuesday for the 0.5-mill levy for Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties.

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Mental health levy renewal lone county

county-wide tax issue

There will be state and local issues for Hardin County voters to consider in Tuesday’s general election, but only one county-wide issue.


The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties is seeking the renewal of a .5 mill levy and Director Michael Schoenhofer said Hardin County residents have many reasons to support the renewal.

In recent years, he explained, the mental health board has invested strongly in Hardin County.

A big expansion of services and counseling for those battling opiate addictions has increased the number of clients serviced in the community.


There are currently 175 people in recovery for heroin addiction in Hardin County, said Schoenhofer.


The levy generates $1.6 million annually over the three counties covered by the board, he said.

“This is a significant part of our annual income,” said the director.


The board pays for the coordinator of the Recovery Court in Hardin County, said Schoenhofer.

The program has been very successful in assisting those convicted of drug crimes in fighting their addictions, he said.

The Hope Recovery Center was opened on South Main Street in Kenton in what had been the East of Chicago Pizza building.


The center offers recovery relief for those addicted to heroin, said Schoenhofer.

The board also supports a recovery house in Kenton, which is the home to five men who are attempting to recover from drug addiction and “get their lives back together,” he continued.


“Hardin County has a lot of treatment options available right now,” said Schoenhofer.

But the Mental Health Board offers services beyond treatment, he said.


It also supports prevention programs such as the PAX Good Behavior Game, which is used in Kenton Elementary School.


“The focus is early age resistance to drug abuse,” said Schoenhofer.

“As a result of the program, kids do better in school. They do better with each other and they do better at home. It’s incredible.”


Currently 65 teachers are trained in Hardin County in the PAX program with such success that Kenton City Schools is taking part in a pilot program called PAX at Home.


The school is training parents how to incorporate the PAX program at their homes.

The goal of the pilot program is to offer parents the self regulation which will lead to a better life, Schoenhofer said.

The board also supports local mental health first aid training to the public and assists with the Suicide Coalition activities, said the director.


“There are things happening in Hardin County,” he said.

Anchor 3

Bluffton Icon supports

Mental Health and Recovery Services Board levy

The Icon supports the 0.5 mil renewal levy of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties. The levy is on the Nov. 3 ballot. If approved it will continue to support this agency’s current expenses for the next 10 years.


For 40 years, voters have approved this 0.5 mil levy, which supports basic mental health and alcohol and drug treatment for adults and children.


This renewal levy is not a new tax and ensures that these vial services for children, families and adults continue in our community.


Services like:

• Kids crisis team
• 24-hour crisis stabilization unit
• 1-800-567-HOPE Hope line
• Walk-in access services
• Texting hotline 741741
• Heroin addition treatment
• Psychiatry
• Substance abuse services for youth and adults


These programs serve tens of thousands of residents each year. This renewal levy costs most homeowners less than $14 a year.


Vote “Yes” of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board tax levy.

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