Finding help for mental illness

Events and trends in recent years have strengthened the call to upgrade our national mental health system. Our growing understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder, rising rates of depression and suicide, the role of the mentally ill in mass shootings, and the societal impact of alcohol and drug addiction are some of the reasons for intensifying concern over undetected mental illness.

With this in mind, we on the Washington County Behavioral Health Board (WCBHB) would like to call attention to our role in the local campaign to prevent, recognize, and treat mental illness and addiction.

As volunteer board members appointed by either the Washington County Commission, or the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, we have the responsibility to hire an administrative staff and, working with that staff, plan, monitor, evaluate, and finance publicly funded treatment and prevention services for mental illness and alcohol/drug addiction in our county. To do this, we contract with L&P Services at their Colegate Drive, Marion Street, and Beverly facilities and Eve Inc., as well as partially fund The Right Path, the House of Hope, and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Washington County.

We invite you to visit our website www.washingtongov.org/wcbhb where you will find the names of our board members, further information about what we do, the schedule of our board and committee meetings, and links to our contract agencies, service organizations, and the larger network of the Ohio mental health and addiction services system.

Charles Pridgeon

Marietta

EDITOR’S NOTE: Charles Pridgeon is vice president of the Washington County Behavioral Health Board.