Summit County voters will decide this Election Day whether to renew a levy that supports mental health and addiction services. It’s been in place for 12 years and the funds are being used differently than in the past.
Issue 14 is a 2.95-mill levy that provides most of the funding for the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. The six-year levy was introduced in 2007 and previously renewed in 2013.
Executive Director Jerry Craig calls their services a “safety net” for people struggling with addiction or mental health challenges. And in the past three years, they’ve been able to use more of their funds to fight opioid abuse.
“Medicaid expansion allowed people to get some treatment services and we could repurpose the dollars that we used to use as a safety net and develop recovery housing, additional capacity in our detox center, and additional beds in our residential treatment program.”
Craig adds that other services supported by the levy also include a 24-hour crisis line, as well as visits to more than 100 schools in the county for preventative services.
“We’ve partnered with Green, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge [and] all the different communities that have been impacted by this opiate epidemic. Provided education in the school systems. Provided community support. And worked in partnership with law enforcement, first responders [and] teachers so that we’re able to really enlist the support of the whole community to extend our reach even further.”
Craig adds that the levy provides about three-quarters of the funding for the ADM Board.