COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 468, a key measure in expanding Ohio’s mental health resources.
Chairwoman of the House Behavioral Health and Recovery Supports Committee, State Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) facilitated the measure’s progress throughout the critical committee process.
“I’m so proud to have supported this important legislation in my committee and on the House floor,” said Carruthers. “Ohio must prioritize mental health as it’s an issue of ever-increasing importance.”
H.B. 468 would create the suicide prevention and mental health hotline. The hope is to streamline the various emergency numbers that are available to call when individuals are experiencing distress with their mental health.
Responsibility for the service would fall under the Department of Mental Health and Addiction. To ensure the hotline is meeting demands across Ohio, the Department would be required to work with local jurisdictions, submit an annual report, collect and disburse funds and coordinate with the Veterans Crisis Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Program.
The provisions are in accordance with the federal mandate calling for the 9-8-8 hotline. State Representative Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) is the primary sponsor of the bill, ensuring that the essential resource be present in Ohio.
The measure now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.