GALLIPOLIS — Ron Adkins, executive director of the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, recently announced that the board received a $150,000.00 Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Linkage Grant through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
This grant will complement a $125,000 grant that was previously awarded and announced in late August to the board to provide mental health services in the local jails. The preparation and submission of these grants has been over a year in planning and coordination.
Local collaborators have included the GJM BADAMHS, Woodland Centers Inc., Health Recovery Services Inc., TASC, Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare System, Gallia Meigs and Jackson Sheriff’s Offices, the Middleport Police Department, and municipal court staffs in both Gallia and Jackson counties. Prior to these awards, the only service that was available to inmates was crisis and emergency services.
“Our most significant barrier to providing services to this population in the past was that when a person is incarcerated, they lose access to Medicaid and other coverage options. Without a payer source to our providers, we were limited to what services we could provide,”Adkins said. “With these funds, an expanded scope of services can be provided that includes assessment, counseling, psychiatry services, medications and case management.”
Woodland Centers Inc. will provide certified staff to provide mental health services in the Gallia County Jail, Gallia County Work Release Center, the Middleport Jail, the Meigs County Jail and the Jackson County Correctional Facility. In addition to these services, the board has worked with the local Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime and TASC Program to provide comparable alcohol and other drug services to this population.
Adkins feels that “with this level of comprehensive care being provided in the jails that many crisis situations can be diverted and we can engage these individuals in beneficial therapeutic services.”
A major component of these projects include after-care planning once the individual is released to include ongoing clinical services, housing assistance, transportation, referral for vocational and educational opportunities. Revenues from these grants will also allow for increased training for law enforcement staff and clinicians from the participating providers in the project.
In the near future, with some funding from these grants that will be available to the Gallipolis and Jackson Municipal Courts, Health Recovery Services Inc. plans to provide Medication Assisted Treatment services, including access to Vivitrol to inmates who are addicted to opiates.
Adkins praised the hard work and dedication of the entities that helped make these projects a reality and plans to continue to seek additional funding to sustain these services when these grants expire in 2017.