TIFFIN, Ohio — Ottawa County has made some changes for residents needing mental health or addiction services.
Earlier this year, Ottawa County commissioners approved the county leaving its multi-county mental health board with Erie County.
And instead of creating a standalone board, decided to instead join the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky, and Wyandot Counties.
The change became official at the start of the month.
Executive Director Mircea Handru says his office has been reaching out to all providers in Ottawa County to make sure those residents didn't see any interruption in service.
"All of those providers received a 9-month contract. If you are a client in Ottawa County or a family member, nothing should change for you. You can receive the same services in your local community by the same provider. So those are in place." said Handru. "We are planning in the next 9 months to do a little strategy planning there, to find the community gaps, needs, priorities and so on. So, we're planning on extending some of the services in the next 9 months."
The director says another benefit for Ottawa County is the new board doesn't pool resources for all members, but instead holds separate levies for each county.
Meaning that now all taxes for mental health and addiction recovery in Ottawa County will stay in Ottawa County.
"We believe this will bring an additional $900,000 for services in Ottawa County. So, we are excited about all that and Ottawa County residents should feel excited about it as well," said Handru.
Along with needing to now update its signs, The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board recently launched a mobile response unit in Sandusky County.
It will be planning on soon opening individual units for Ottawa, Seneca and Wyandot counties.
Handru says none of the four member counties will have a levy on this upcoming November ballot.