This spring, results from the 2018 Ashland County community health assessment will be presented to the public. The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County, which dedicates itself to addressing the mental health needs of the community, will apply this information to focusing and adapting their continued efforts to improve the well-being of Ashland County residents.
Every three years, the Ashland County Health Department, University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center, the Mental Health and Recovery Board, and several other city and county organizations join in a collective effort to compile county-wide data as the basis for a community health improvement plan. In 2015, four major areas of focus were identified: overall health and wellness, the impact of poverty on health and wellness, opioid and other substance addiction, and the impact of trauma over the lifespan.
Over the past three years, The Mental Health and Recovery Board has taken leadership in addressing two of the four focus areas identified in the assessment—opioid/addiction and impact of trauma.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board has undertaken serious efforts to promote safe prescription drug disposal, one of the primary ways to prevent opiate abuse, by purchasing two drug drop boxes and educating the community on proper disposal. The Board invited all facets of the community to its annual dinner, for the purpose of educating people about opiate use and other addictions. This gathering led to an exciting amount of community engagement. Employers and schools, especially, have been eager to learn how they can improve the lives of people who are struggling with addiction.
Trauma can change a person’s life forever, but it doesn’t have to stop them from learning, growing, and thriving. The Mental Health and Recovery Board has taken the initiative in training the community in trauma-informed care. Many members of the community have taken the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) assessment, a national study that examines the medical, social, and economic consequences of adverse childhood experiences on adults over their lifespan. As a result, people have reported a better understanding of loved ones, coworkers, students, employees, and themselves, responding to others from a place of knowledge and compassion. People have also responded by wanting to volunteer with trauma survivors, such as veterans who share their stories and experiences through The Listening Project.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board is looking forward to addressing current, new, and emerging needs laid out this spring with the help of our community partners. Learn more about who we are here.