Central Clinic expands work

Mental Health Access Point renamed Central Connection, will unite access to Hamilton County mental health and substance use resources

Mental Health Access Point, a division of Central Clinic Behavioral Health, will be renamed Central Connection and expand access to substance use assessment and treatment services beginning July 1.

Central Connection will continue to function as the front door for Hamilton County’s mental health system in collaboration with the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

The expansion will include direct services for substance use including assessments, case management and linkage to long-term ongoing treatment in the community. The change will mean the hiring of two to three additional staff, and in a couple months, potentially two more.

Linda Gallagher

“Having a single front door for both mental health and substance use disorders will greatly enhance our ability to serve individuals and their families impacted by behavioral health needs while creating efficiencies of resources,” said Linda Gallagher, vice president of mental health and addiction services for the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. “HCMHRSB and Central Clinic MHAP have collaborated for more than 25 years to ensure Hamilton County families in need have access to mental health services. We are looking forward to this front door integration.”

Central Connection will continue to operate Hamilton County’s 24/7/365 hotline at 513.558.8888. The hotline currently receives more than 14,000 calls each year.

Central Clinic Behavioral Health provides individualized mental health, addiction, and forensic services to children, families, and adults. Now celebrating its 100th year of operation, Central Clinic has transformed behavioral health services, empowering individuals and families to achieve overall wellness. Central Clinic Behavioral Health has 11 locations in Greater Cincinnati that provide a variety of trauma-informed and evidence- based assessment, treatment, and prevention services. Central Clinic Behavioral Health is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati, receives funding from the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, and is a United Way agency partner.

As behavioral health issues in the county have grown, the need for easily accessible resources has become increasingly imperative. Individuals without insurance who have mental health and substance use issues have had to go to two different programs to get help, as there were two separate “front doors” for care in Hamilton County. As roughly one-third to one-half of individuals who cope with mental health issues are also affected by substance use, Central Connection will reduce barriers by being a single source for care.

The Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board plans, funds, manages and evaluates a comprehensive system of public behavioral healthcare services available to all Hamilton County residents. The mission of the board is to develop and manage a continuum of mental health, addiction and prevention services that have a positive impact on the community, are accessible, results oriented and responsive to individual and family needs. The board serves over 26,000 mental health and addiction clients each year.

Central Connection’s single point of contact system will make those resources easier to reach.

Shelley Batch

“MHAP has been operating for over 25 years providing high quality direct services, care coordination, and crisis management,” said MHAP director Shelley Batch. “I am pleased that we are expanding these services to individuals experiencing substance use issues and look forward to collaborating with additional providers to ensure the needs of our community are met.”


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