State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) spearheaded legislation establishing a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline, which unanimously passed through the Ohio House Wednesday. Pavliga, the sponsor of the bill, spoke to it on the House floor today.
“It is my hope that this bill will address multiple points of entry in mental health care and awareness,” said Pavliga.
House Bill 468 will align Ohio with a July 2020 federal mandate to establish a 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline by July of 2022.
Currently, there are multiple crisis hotlines Ohioans can call if they are struggling with mental health. The 9-8-8 crisis hotline would be a single resource to streamline assistance for a variety of mental health conditions.
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction will administer the hotline and be responsible for working with local jurisdiction to provide mental health assistance to those that contact the 9-8-8 hotline.
“Establishing this hotline will provide crisis response and outgoing services to calls twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by personnel who reflect the demographics of the served community and are trained to serve at-risk communities, including culturally and linguistically competent services for LGBTQ+, racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities,” Pavliga added.
House Bill 468 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.