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New behavioral health resource supports youth mental health as children return to school


The Ohio Department of Medicaid’s new Ohio Minds Matter website introduces screening tools, detection and prevention options , and guidance on when and how to seek help for a child. This online behavioral health resource can help families, teachers and health care professionals manage increasing childhood mental health needs. The site includes tools and guidance developed by a panel of clinical childhood behavioral health experts.

Effects of the COVID pandemic have been particularly hard on child mental health, resulting in significant increases in youth depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. These conditions, if left untreated, can harm a child’s ability to learn, grow and develop.

Ohio Minds Matter, a statewide collaborative sponsored by the Ohio Department of Medicaid through the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, provides behavioral health tools and educational resources including:

  • Treatment modules and screening tools for common behavioral health conditions;
  • Guides for prescribing psychotropic medications;
  • Prevention resources;
  • A tool to help families make treatment decisions;
  • Insights into OhioRISE, a new specialized behavioral health managed care program for children with complex, multisystem needs; and
  • Information about how to get help.

Ohio Minds Matter’s site aligns with Gov. Mike DeWine’s goal of strengthening Ohio’s behavioral health network. Similar to the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s new OhioRISE (Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) program for children with complex behavioral health needs, guidance available through the site supports a coordinated, family-centric behavioral health system of care.

The organization’s Youth Behavioral Health Clinical Advisory Panel consists of representatives from Ohio’s colleges of medicine, children’s hospitals and community health providers, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Many members of the Ohio Minds Matter collaborative also took part in the design and launch of OhioRISE.