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$85M Investment to Grow Ohio’s Behavioral Healthcare Workforce Announced by Governor DeWine

Source: Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, joined by Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director Lori Criss and Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner and various leaders of Ohio’s behavioral healthcare and higher education communities announced a plan to increase the number of behavioral healthcare providers to meet growing demand.

The planned investment of $85 million of federal funds gives the state an opportunity to make education more attainable and affordable for students committed to behavioral healthcare careers. The funding will be dedicated to enhancing paid internship and scholarship opportunities for students working to achieve behavioral health certifications and degrees at Ohio’s two- and four-year colleges and universities and other educational career development settings. It will also help remove financial barriers from obtaining licenses, certifications, and exams necessary for employment in these careers; support providers in their ability to supervise and offer internships and work experiences; and establish a Technical Assistance Center to help students navigate the federal and state funding opportunities available to them. This investment will also fund recruitment and retention bonuses for students who commit to employment with Ohio’s community mental health and addiction centers which provide care, treatment, and services to Ohio’s Medicaid-eligible population.

The Administration is working collaboratively across state agencies to achieve full approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the expenditure of these home and community based care American Rescue Plan Act funds as well as with the General Assembly on the most effective way to make the federal funding quickly available. Additional details of the plan will be shared in the coming weeks.

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