State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) joined Gov. Mike DeWine and other members of the administration at a press conference on Friday to highlight and detail funding for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline. The funding recently passed as part of the state budget in the General Assembly and was later signed into law this week.
Pavliga sits on the House Finance Committee that oversaw much of the state budget legislative process as she went on to support the bill.
“It was an honor to vote yes on this biennium budget with 9-8-8 in mind,” Pavliga said at the press conference. “Throughout the budget process, many of my colleagues and I advocated for the necessity of state-level 9-8-8 funding. I am thrilled to see that dollar amount go towards so much significant work in Ohio.”
The budget provides approximately $46.5M for the fund to provide an enhanced mental health treatment response and serves as a resource in addressing the mental health crisis in Ohio. Additionally, the funding serves as a commitment to both the professionals receiving and responding to the calls and those needing immediate care.
Pavliga introduced legislation regarding this concept during both the current and previous General Assemblies to move the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline forward.
Additionally, Pavliga serves as the chair of the House Behavioral Health Committee that oversees many issues surrounding mental health.
“The 9-8-8 program is saving lives every day, and legislation I have introduced codifies the 9-8-8 administrator position and establishes the dedicated 9-8-8 fund that will serve Ohio’s crisis center needs for years to come,” Pavliga added.
Visit here to watch the press conference.