OHFA UPDATE - PAGE 2 - NOVEMBER 2018 FULFILLING THE PROMISE SALLY LUKEN CONSULTANT TO NAMI-OHIO OHFA has partnered with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill – Ohio chapter (NAMI-Ohio), the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services agency, local county boards and providers of services and affordable housing to move our state closer to the realization of the Ohio Mental Health Act of 1988. The idea of “deinstitutionalization” of persons with brain disorders was bold and exciting back in 1988. It was a good idea to get people out of state psychiatric hospitals because warehousing people with mental health issues was not improving their health and was seen as inhumane. The 1988 Ohio Act was implemented to change that with a community system of care that included housing. Fast forward to 2018: instead of a full community system as promised, too many Ohioans with these health conditions are among the homeless population or in jails or prisons. NAMI-Ohio, whose mission is to improve the quality of life, ensure dignity and respect for persons with serious mental illness and to support their families, said enough is enough. Fulfilling the Promise is NAMI-Ohio’s campaign to bring to fruition the promised system of services and housing to people still left to manage their illness on their own. And the southeast corner of Ohio is the launch site. OHFA’s financial support to Phase I of the campaign – the development of the Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center – has been critical to ensuring a continuity of care for people coming out of psychiatric hospital. You can learn more about this first-in-the-state rehab center in Athens, Ohio, by visiting this page . Phase II of the Fulfilling the Promise campaign is all about housing. This 21-county area, which includes a major portion of Ohio Appalachia, is bereft of affordable housing options, but the housing need for persons with mental health conditions coming from institutional care is even more keen. OHFA is supporting NAMI-Ohio with a technical assistance grant to create more housing to reduce the likelihood of homelessness for NAMI’s family members leaving the Adam-Amanda. Housing is key to helping these individuals maintain their health following hospitalization and rehab. NAMI-Ohio is looking for partners in affordable housing who may have vacancies in existing properties. Local boards of mental health and addiction services have committed to providing the services needed to support persons who will become providers’ tenants. In addition, with the Medicaid expansion in Ohio, local integrated behavioral health providers and health clinics can deliver quality health services to NAMI’s family members in housing. Health and behavioral health partners are ready to help affordable housing providers with this population. For more information on Fulfilling the Promise, please contact Sally Luken, consultant to NAMI-Ohio, at 614.946.0313 or firstname.lastname@example.org .