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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.

2020Talks - October 20, 2020 

Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

Ohio Mental Health Services Feeling the Holiday Blues

December 9, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's more than just the holiday blues hitting mental health service providers in Ohio. Months after state funding was slashed, they continue to experience trying times. The cuts affected housing programs, school-based prevention programs, suicide and violence prevention programs and mental health centers.

Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, a senior policy fellow for Voices for Ohio's Children, says mental health needs around the state run the gamut and affect a major segment of the population, because physical health and mental health go hand in hand.

"It's a part of health. The brain is a part of the body, and we need to see it as that. We need to make the investments - and make them early - in prevention and early intervention. It's everything from a very small child's brain development to a senior citizen who is struggling with depression, to people who are actually on the street who have no place else to go."

She adds that the state's investments in these services are critical to help those who have mental health issues recover and become productive citizens.

Elaine Harlan, president of the counseling and family support group Child Guidance & Family Solutions, agrees. She says local agencies are seeing lines at their front doors as a result of the budget cuts.

"Families have nowhere else to go, because they do not qualify for Medicaid and there are no services available to them due to the lack of financial sources to help pay for their therapy - and they wind up frustrated."

There are fears that even more funding could be lost as state leaders try to patch an $851 million budget hole. Harlan and others hope mental health programs are spared from further cuts, and that new ways to generate income for the state are considered. As an example, she cites Senate Bill 318, which delays a 4.2 percent state income tax reduction in light of Ohio's budget crisis.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH