On October 17, 2013 the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center Board of Trustees passed a resolution to support Issue #1, the 2013 Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Levy. Our Board Member, Kathleen Stoll, LISW, MBA, along with two other long-time mental health advocate/providers wrote the following opinion piece, which we would like to share with you.
We strongly support all the programs that are funded by the Health and Human Services Levy, Issue#1. We congratulate the members of the County Council, who did the necessary financial and needs analysis that identified the increasing financial struggle, resulting from decreased revenues and the increasing demand for services. We support the use of levy funds to provide mental health and addiction services that are not covered by Medicaid and access to services for persons who are not eligible for Medicaid or the insurance exchange. We also support protective services for children and the elderly provided by the County.
As mental health professionals, each of whom has been active in various aspects of mental health services for more 45 years, we strongly support this levy. Recent research shows that adverse lifetime events contribute to the incidence both of health and mental health problems, and reduce life expectancy for those with chronic health and behavioral health problems by as much as 25 years. For adults, in addition to providing more effective integrated medical treatment and medications, we also know the importance of care management, counseling, rehabilitation, supportive stable housing, and jobs, some of them provided by local agencies. In addition, there has been significant research that demonstrates the importance of early childhood intervention and specialized education for children to improve their health.
The County Issue #1 Levy will assist 100 local agencies in providing services to residents of the County.
- Integrated primary health and behavioral health care management which will improve both health and behavioral health of adults and children. This is often referred to as a Medical home, a place or organization where all a person’s health and behavioral health needs will be met.
- Provide more rehabilitation to adults to enhance their skills and enable them to participate more actively in their family or community, including jobs and employment services.
- Provide more early intervention treatment and education for children with early behavioral health problems, to build their skills, and enable them to become self-supporting adults.
- More crisis intervention services for families and children and single adults to prevent suicide, violence, incarceration, and adverse lifetime events.
- Provide more rehabilitation services to persons who are sent into juvenile and adult justice systems and enable them to live a more productive life.
- All these services will contribute to the recovery of persons who have experienced behavioral health problems.
Cuyahoga County is fortunate to have two excellent medical schools which do advanced research on behavioral health problems, from genetics, to neuroimaging, and clinical research, so the agencies providing integrated healthcare have early access to new treatments or new studies of the efficacy of treatment, and evidence based treatments that may be developed.
We urge you to vote for Issue #1, the Health and Human Services Levy. It is the most important issue on the November Ballot. It is a direct and a wise investment in the improved health of Cuyahoga County residents.
Written by three active advocates for behavioral health care, who each have more than 45 years of experience in the field.
Dr. L. Douglas Lenkoski-Psychiatrist, since 1956, at Hanna Pavilion, Chairman of Department of Psychiatry for 20 years, and Charter Member of the original Community Mental health Board in 1968 established by State Law 648. Member of the recently consolidated ADAMHS Board for two years. Awarded 44 years of Service Award by the ADAMHS Board.
H. Bernard Smith, first Executive Director of the Community Mental Health Board for first ten years. Author of Interaction for Mental Health, published as planning for the 648 Legislation. First National CEO of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, NAMI.
Kathleen H. Stoll, LISW and MBA, member of staff and Associate Director of Community Mental Health Board for its first 11 years. Advocate for Behavioral Health services for 45 years. Awarded Woodruff Prize in 1996 for Lifetime Commitment to Mental Health.