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Rep. Liston's bill to protect mental health providers passes the Ohio House with broad support

March 10, 2021
Beth Liston News

COLUMBUS— Today, Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) applauded the House passage of House Bill (HB) 41, her bipartisan legislation to add certain mental health workers to the list of those exempt from disclosing identifying personal information under Ohio public records laws.

“This is an important step in supporting our mental health professionals so they can provide much-needed care for Ohioans suffering from mental illness in difficult circumstances. HB 41 will help ensure safety and security for mental health professionals and their patients,” said Rep. Liston. 

Under HB 41, forensic mental health providers, mental health evaluation providers, and regional psychiatric hospital employees would be exempt from having their residential and familial information disclosed to the public. It would also allow the employee or provider’s address to be redacted from any public office’s records except from records of the county auditor, but would have the option to ask the county auditor to replace their name with their initials in public databases.  These health care providers are often making critical recommendations about treatment, capacity and guardianships for people in Ohio suffering from mental illness who interact with the courts. 

Ohio passed similar bipartisan legislation in 2018 to expand personal information exemptions to include judges.

HB 41 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.