The State needs to lead the way in facilitating the creation of community mental health programs. Even though it’s obvious that many Ohioans need access to mental health assessment and treatment, there is little focus on this problem at all levels of government.
Ohio should design aggressive programs that incentivize the establishment of community mental health treatment centers. By subsidizing the education and certification of students in mental health career pathways, the state could significantly increase the network of mental health providers in a few short years.
A large part of the drug problem in Ohio deals with the failure of governments to deal adequately with the mental health problems of people of all ages. Ohio ranks 47th among the states in terms of drug overdose rates. It’s hard to believe that only three states have a worse rate of drug overdoses than Ohio. We must do more to cut off the supply of illegal drugs and increase criminal penalties for persons involved in the distribution of illegal drugs.
Much of the violence that threatens our public safety is directly related to the drug problem in Ohio. Gangs and individuals involved in the drug trade are responsible for everything from property crimes to homicides and human trafficking.
Failure to deal with the crisis in mental health problems combined with the lack of resources at the community level to combat the drug problem, has let the public safety of both urban and rural communities deteriorate in front of our eyes.
For years the state legislature has been cutting the local governments funds. Communities, big and small, don’t have the resources to begin to deal with the violence related to mental health problems and drugs. The state needs to develop a new partnership with local governments to deal with these problems in a coordinated way.
In order to take a giant step forward in terms of creating high-tech industries and high-tech wages, Ohio needs new economic initiatives based on more progressive revenue models.
Ohio needs to create the Thomas Alva Edison Partnership. This partnership could attract worldwide investment in the technology and manufacturing that would lead Ohio into a new era of economic prosperity.
The structure of the partnership would evolve around three or four of the major universities in Ohio.
University-based consortia between business, universities and government provide these entities with the advanced technology research and development, training, and education necessary to diversify Ohio’s economy and thereby stimulate Ohio’s economic growth.