Dear Fellow Ohioans:
Ohio is in the midst of a public health crisis. Based on reports from the Ohio Department of Health, about 13 Ohioans die each day from unintentional drug overdoses. Approximately five people a day take their own lives. The repercussions of the drug epidemic and mental illness have touched the lives of all Ohioans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socio-economic background, and every community in our state has been affected.
Moments after taking the oath of office, my first action as Governor was to create the RecoveryOhio initiative to ensure that we act aggressively to address this crisis and invest in the health and well-being of Ohio’s citizens.
Doing so, we must reduce stigma and provide impactful prevention education for Ohio’s children beginning at an early age. We must help those struggling with mental illness or substance use disorders by giving them a system that provides quality treatment on demand. And, we must build recovery-friendly communities that support and promote health and wellness to ensure all Ohioans can live long, productive lives.
In January, I created and named the members of my RecoveryOhio Advisory Council. The council is composed of leaders from across the state with diverse personal and professional backgrounds, who are working together to enhance our understanding of this crisis and how it impacts all sectors of society.
At the onset, I asked the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council to provide actionable recommendations to improve mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery support services in Ohio. Those recommendations are included in this report, and they will serve as a framework for the work to come.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to all members of the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council. They devoted countless volunteer hours to create this report and thank them for their selfless service. Together, we will make a difference in the lives of those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders.
Very respectfully yours,