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Task force: Juvenile mental health services lacking

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Interagency Task Force on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice reported Monday to Gov. John Kasich, the state General Assembly and Ohio Supreme Court that there is a significant percentage of Ohio youths who need behavioral health services, but whose problems and service needs are not being met.

As a result, one of the unintended consequences of not addressing these needs at the community level is creating a disproportionate number of youth with serious emotional disturbances in the juvenile justice, child welfare, and education systems.

“Half of the youth in the custody of DYS are on the mental health caseload,” said Harvey Reed, task force chairman and Director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services. “This is a serious issue and I appreciate the time and expertise the taskforce members invested in helping these young people”

The task force was establishedto make recommendations on how to most effectively respond to delinquent youth who have serious mental illness or emotional and behavioral disorders and who end up in the juvenile justice system. 

It has met over the last 10 months.

The full report is available online at http://www.dys.ohio.gov.

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