COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 12, legislation that creates the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Network. This legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Don Manning (R-New Middletown) and Thomas West (D-Canton) will bring together a diverse group of experts to develop evidence- and outcome-based solutions to improve the mental health of children and young adults, and reduce suicides.

“Children are not immune from mental illness,” said Speaker Householder. “We must help our children and provide them with an environment where they can succeed and become healthy, happy, and productive adults. With the creation of the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Network, we are supporting Ohio children and families.”

Half of all mental illnesses start by age 14. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults.

House Bill 12 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.

“My experience in the youth mental and behavioral health space has shown me how desperately we need reform in these areas,” said Rep. Manning. “The creation of the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Network is a pivotal first step in solving the mental and behavioral health crisis that we currently face in Ohio.”

“Having worked in the mental health space for most of my professional career, I recognize the immense need for an integrated and coordinated effort at the state level to give families the tools they need to support their children’s development,” said Rep. Thomas West. “It is my hope that with this legislation, we can renew Ohio’s promise of giving children a chance to thrive, not just survive.”

HB 12 passed the Ohio House with 86 affirmative votes and 3 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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