History of Public Behavioral Healthcare in Hamilton County

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy supported the community Mental Health Act to provide mental health, alcohol, and drug services to persons in the community, not just in hospitals.  Four years later, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation providing for the establishment of county-based community mental health boards.

The Hamilton County Community Mental Health Board was established in 1968 with the mission to serve residents of Hamilton County who suffered from mental illness.  The newly established trustee board of 15 members began addressing responsibilities assigned to them with Thomas S. Grogan, Jr. as the Community Mental Health Board’s first Executive Director.

In 1990, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners voted to establish a separate Board of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) to serve the alcohol and other drug addiction population.  John Y. Young became the ADAS Board’s first Executive Director.  The County General Revenue fund, the Mental Health Board, and the Southwest Ohio Regional Council on Alcoholism supported the new ADAS Board to ensure services were adequately funded.

In 2006, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation permitting the commissioners who had formed separate mental health and alcohol and drug addiction service boards the authority to revisit their 1989 decision and create a combined board.  Thus, the Hamilton County Commissioners voted to create a combined Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services in Hamilton County.

With this decision, the Mental Health Board and the ADAS Board were both dissolved.  Effective October 19, 2006 a new entity, the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (MHRSB), was formed.  Patrick Tribbe, who had been the President/CEO of the Mental Health Board since March 17, 1997, was named as the first President/CEO of the new Board.

Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Boards do not hire staff to provide service directly to residents.  The Boards accomplish their mission and goals through contracts with various community agencies that are certified by the state to provide services.  The Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board contracts with approximately 37 certified agencies for mental health and addiction services.

Together, the contract provider agencies offer an array of services to all age groups.  The provider agencies use evidence-based and best practices to ensure effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services.   The objective is for every client to lead a productive, satisfactory life characterized by hope, empowerment, and a meaningful role in society.

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