On November 3, voters will be asked to approve a replacement levy and millage decrease to fund mental health and addiction services in Belmont County.  The services this levy will fund are truly needed in Belmont County.
The levy for services was originally passed in 1995 and was renewed in 2005.  The Belmont COunty commissioners agreed to put it on the ballot as a replacement levy this time with a millage decrease from 1.5 mills to 1.25 mills.  A replacement levy allows the Mental Health and Recovery Board to capture the growth in Belmont County over the last 20 years.  If passed it will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about 12 cents a day or $3.60 a month.  We hope the taxpayers see that as a reasonable investment to continue vital services for Belmont County residents.  
These services include: 24 hour a day crisis intervention; prevention and intervention in schools; and mental health and drug addiction counseling.
 The Mental Health and Recovery Board contracts for services with several area treatment agencies including Southeast, Crossroads Counseling, Tri-County Help Center, The Village Network, and Student Services.  Services from these agencies reach well over 6,000 individuals and families a year.  We need these services to continue.
Last year 13 Belmont County residents died from unintentional drug overdoses, and 80% of those unintentional drug overdoses involved heroin or another opioid drug.  Twenty-six percent of the children removed from their home are removed because of drug use.
There are nearly 3,800 of our neighbors living with serious and persistent mental illness in Belmont County. Seventy-five percent of the females (572) and 63% of the males (1,350) in the Belmont County jail experience mental health problems severe enough to require treatment.  Forty percent of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness have spent time in prison, jail, or community corrections.  
An average of 15 multi-need children  are served jointly with other county agencies.   Belmont County provides prevention and intervention services to nearly 2,100 children and youth in area schools.
They intervene and support adults and families impacted by violence and provide 24/7 coverage necessary to handle over 1,700 crisis calls.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board plans for, funds, monitors, and evaluates mental health and addiction services for residents of Belmont County.  The Board does not provide any services itself.  Federal, state, and local monies for services are managed by the Board who contracts with local agencies to provide services.  
Decisions are made by an 18 member community board who serve without compensation, but play a vital role in assuring services are available.  Currently there are seven Belmont County residents serving who were appointed by the county commissioners and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  There is one Belmont county Board vacancy.  The remaining members come from the county commissioners in either Harrison or Monroe county or from the Department and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board is an integral part of the community safety net by funding mental health and addiction services for area residents who have no other means to pay for needed services.  
Hospitalizing a person with mental illness costs three to five times more per year than treating them in the community.
For every dollar spent on mental health treatment, there is an economic return of $4 to $7 when reduction in crime, child abuse, homelessness, and lost productivity is considered.
Individuals with chronic medical conditions lowered their medical costs as much as 31% after receiving mental health interventions.
Studies show that for as every dollar spent on mental health care, there can be as much as $5.78 saved on medical care.  (1993 study)
For every $1 spent on drug and alcohol treatment, society saves $11.54 in health care and criminal justice costs and lost productivity for business.
Please vote yes to renew the Mental Health and Addiction Services Levy.