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SBIRT Taking Hold in Ohio – 9/24/14

By: Kathleen Gmeiner, UHCAN Ohio

Earlier this year, UHCAN Ohio took on a new initiative called Preventing Youth Addiction. This initiative will seek to spread the use of the SBIRT model (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) among youth of ages 15-22 in Ohio. Click here for more information about this model.

Good things continue to happen in Ohio around the spread of the SBIRT model as a means to reduce risky use of substances in adults and youth.  The State of Ohio’s Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) has moved into year two of its five-year partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to bring SBIRT to persons 18 and older in medical settings. Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky and One Health Ohio, a community health and dental center in Youngstown, have joined Health Partners of Western Ohio (a community health center) as OMHAS grantees receiving funding and technical assistance to spread SBIRT in the Sandusky and Youngstown areas. Health Partners is already offering SBIRT services in Lima, Kenton, and New Carlisle.  

The policy advisory group that advises OMHAS, has begun committee work to enhance the cultural competency of SBIRT providers  and to push the Office of Medicaid for the broadest possible reimbursement of SBIRT services.  

On the youth side, Norwood City School District in Southwest Ohio has launched SBIRT.. 

Meanwhile, UHCAN Ohio’s SBIRT leadership team has launchedan effort to seek funds in the next  state budget for FY16-17 (beginning July 1, 2015) to defray start-up costs for schools that are willing to introduce SBIRT. We have spoken to key policymakers in relevant departments and are reaching out to key school personnel.  We have also met with organizations that work with youth who are deeply committed to prevention, and we hope to be in a better position to engage youth over the next several months.

If you work with young people – or are one –  and would like to become engaged in our work on SBIRT, let us know. We are looking for high school students, school nurses, parents, teachers, school administrators, school board members, school counselors, pediatricians, people in recovery, youth workers, prevention specialists, local mental health and recovery board members, child or teen advocates, social workers, or anyone with a strong interest in making sure young people get the help they need to move away from behaviors that put them at risk.  You can contact Kathleen Gmeiner at [email protected].

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