Home > Blog > Stepping Up Ohio Meeting

Stepping Up Ohio Meeting

A screenshot from the stepping up website

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jan. 10, 2022 — The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties presents Stepping Up Ohio Countywide Meeting, taking place virtually on January 11, 2022, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., and featuring presentations on mental illness and the criminal justice population.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties is proud to bring the Stepping Up Ohio team to Wayne County for a follow-up visit. The meeting will provide updates on the work Wayne County has done since becoming a Stepping Up county and be a chance for state partners to share information about resources available to Wayne County.

Stepping Up Ohio, a chapter of the national Stepping Up initiative is a statewide effort to break the cycle of jail being the de facto mental health hospital. The mission of both the national and Ohio’s Stepping Up initiative is to help criminal offenders with mental illness get connected to clinical treatment and other services so they can get well, make positive life changes, and stay out of jail. An estimated 30% of Ohio’s inmates have a mental illness, and anywhere from two to three times more taxpayer money is spent on incarcerated adults with mental illness who require intervention. Without access to proper treatment and stabilization services, people with mental illness can return to incarceration again and again.

Stepping Up Ohio assists counties in unifying existing community supports for people with mental illness as well as connecting them to new or previously untapped free state and national resources. The Stepping Up Ohio team will convene a cross-section of local stakeholders, including behavioral health treatment providers; law enforcement; specialty court dockets; and housing, veteran, and other support services providers. State partners will co-present with local leaders on topics such as:

  • Probation programs
  • Mental Health and Drug courts
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) initiatives and funding
  • Veteran services and veteran treatment courts
  • Housing
  • Crisis Continuum of Care
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)
  • NeoMed Criminal Justice Center of Excellence programs
  • Assisted Outpatient Treatment

The meeting is free and open to the public. Contact Sue Zarlengo at szarlengo@whmhrb.org  for registration information. For more information about Stepping Up Ohio, visit https://mha.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/mha/community-partners/criminal-justice/stepping-up-initiative/stepping-up-initiative or email Melissa Knopp at knoppm@steppingupohio.org . To learn more about the Stepping Up initiative in this community, contact Judy Wortham Wood at jwood@whmhrb.org.

Directed by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (retired) and Project Manager Melissa Knopp, Esq., along with other state and county leaders, Stepping Up Ohio is supported by the CSG Justice Center and is generously funded by Peg’s Foundation.