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Montgomery County crisis mental health services suspended; board fails to agree on new contractors

The Montgomery County ADAMHS board met Wednesday and considered contracts to replace R.I. international
Ngozi Cole
The Montgomery County ADAMHS board met Wednesday and considered contracts to replace R.I. international.

Some crisis mental health services are no longer available today in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board met Wednesday night and rejected two proposed contracts to keep services running with new providers.

For over two years, Montgomery County had been scaling up a crisis mental health care system that offered three tiers of care: a hotline, a mobile crisis unit, and a crisis center to provide up to 23 hours of stabilizing care.

RI International had been contracted to operate these services, but the nonprofit unexpectedlyannounced it would stop operating in the county effective May 22.

Calls to the local hotline are now forwarding to 988, the national crisis mental health hotline.

ADAMHS staff recommended that Columbus-based Netcare should run the local crisis call center, and that Dayton based DeCoach handle mobile crisis response services.

But ADAMHS Board members voted 4 to 3 against that plan. Two board members abstained.

Some trustees and residents said the move to hire the agencies was too hasty. They said finding new services should be more collaborative.

Others say crisis services are needed – right now.

Michelle Campbell has used the hotline when her son needed help.

She doesn't know what's going to happen now.

“I'm going to try to do my best to keep him stable. Try to encourage him the best I can," she said. "People need to understand that this is not a game. This is life. This is serious and we need to take care of it.”

ADAMHS staff say the next step is to put out requests for proposals for new providers.

For now, people who need help can

  • Call 988, which is the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline;
  • Connect to resources for mental health and substance use at mc.localhelpnow.org
  • Text 4Hope to 741741, which is the National Crisis Text Line
  • Call 937-528-7777 for the Miami Valley Warmline, which provides free and confidential mental and behavioral health peer-support services to community members.
Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.