BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – During his visit to the Valley on Wednesday, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill to form a new group that will study how the state deals with the behavioral health of children.
The Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network Stakeholder group was created by DeWine himself.
He signed House Bill 12 into law at the Behavioral Health Center of Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman.
The group will put together what will likely become the most comprehensive behavioral health study done on children in the state of Ohio.
The group will have 20-25 people who will be responsible for studying the behavioral health of children throughout the state.
“The attention that the bill signing today draws to mental health issues is very, very important,” DeWine said.
“I would like to thank Governor Mike DeWine and his staff for their help and support. Thank you for signing this very important legislation into law right here at Akron Children’s Hospital,” said Representative Don Manning.
“We know that 20% of adolescents have a mental illness severe enough to impair their functioning. But of that 20%, only one-fifth get diagnosed and treated during adolescence,” said Dr. Steven Jewell, Akron Children’s Hospital.
By law, the group must be put together within the next 30 days and have its first meeting within the next 60 days.
It then has 18 months to complete the study, which it will then present to both the governor and the Ohio legislature.
This was the first time the governor has signed a bill into law outside of Columbus.