ADAMhs Board CEO thanksful for levy renewal

During the Nov. 8 ADAMhs Board meeting, board CEO Les McCaslin thanked area voters for their over-whelming support of the 0.7-mill mental health renewal levy that was on the ballot in Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams counties.

“It’s just amazing that people have been so generous to us over the years,” McCaslin said. “To get nearly 70 percent support is amazing. I’m just so thankful.”

In a relatively light agenda, the board approved contracts with three agencies for the current fiscal year.

Maumee Valley Guidance Center will be reimbursed up to $2,500 to cover the cost of manuals for the Mental Health First Aid classes that the agency’s prevention staff offers throughout the year. The day-long trainings are designed to help persons who work or volunteer in social service fields identify persons who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. The training also teaches participants how to offer support and encouragement to seek appropriate mental health services as well as the skills to help the person get those services.

Participants receive an extensive manual that explains most mental health and substance use disorders and their treatment as well as the skills taught during the training. Each manual costs nearly $20.

Maumee Valley prevention staff are trained to teach both an adult and youth version of the Mental Health First Aid training.

A Renewed Mind Behavioral Health will receive $6,900 to cover the cost of a substance abuse disorders training for approximately 150 therapists. The training taught the therapists how to appropriately classify clients under a new reimbursement process.

And, finally, Hands of Grace in Fulton County will received up to $7,500 to provide transportation for persons that their agency serves who have mental health disorders.

A $5,000 contract with Secure Telehealth was also approved to provide secure, personal computer based video conferencing for a wide range of uses including: direct treatment between mental health professionals and clients, consults, treatment team meetings and administrative meetings.

Matt Rizzo, the president and CEO of A Renewed Mind Behavioral Health, updated the board on The Renewal Center, a men’s residential addiction treatment facility that the agency opened in Napoleon one year ago.

During its first year of operation, The Renewal Center has averaged 18 to 19 persons daily with the usual length of stay being 90 days. He said that 80 to 90 percent of the clients successfully complete their stay and are referred for outpatient continuing care following their discharge. About 55 percent of the clients who are referred to outpatient services stay with their treatment compared to the national average that is about 35 percent.

The ADAMhs Board recognized staff member Drena Teague who was attending her last board meeting before retiring later this month, completing nearly 29 years of mental health service in the four county area. With an undergraduate degree from Defiance College in social work and a master’s degree from Heidelberg University in counseling, she began her career with Maumee Valley Guidance Center as a case manager before becoming the agency’s case management supervisor.

In July 2004, Teague joined the staff of the Four County ADAMhs Board as the client rights officer. She told the board that she appreciated their support and the confidence that they had in her to let her do her job and work with mental health professionals in the area to help persons get the help that they needed.