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Ohio to spend more than $46M on suicide prevention hotline

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(The Center Square) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine hopes millions in the new state budget to keep a crisis hotline ongoing will continue to make an impact throughout the state.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline celebrated its first anniversary state and nationwide recently, and it served more than 12,000 Ohioans experiencing or affected by suicidal, mental health or substance use crises use the line monthly.

“We are working to strengthen and expand Ohio’s crisis care system to help anyone who is in a mental health or addiction crisis – and their family members – quickly connect to help close to home,” DeWine said. “The 988 lifeline is a 24/7 resource for Ohioans, and it is saving lives.”

The budget provides about $46.5 million for the fund to provide an enhanced mental health treatment response and serves as a resource in addressing the mental health crisis in Ohio.

Additionally, the funding is a commitment to the professionals receiving and responding to the calls and those needing immediate care, according to Rep. Gail Pavliga, R-Portage County.

“It was an honor to vote yes on this biennium budget with 988 in mind,” Pavliga said. “Throughout the budget process, many of my colleagues and I advocated for the necessity of state-level 988 funding. I am thrilled to see that dollar amount go towards so much significant work in Ohio.”

Pavliga introduced legislation regarding this concept during both the current and previous General Assemblies to move the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline forward.

She serves as the chair of the House Behavioral Health Committee that oversees mental health issues.

“The 988 program is saving lives every day, and legislation I have introduced codifies the 9-8-8 administrator position and establishes the dedicated 9-8-8 fund that will serve Ohio’s crisis center needs for years to come,” Pavliga said.

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