Web Site Will Help Residents

May 18, 2007
Marietta Times

 

Marietta, Ohio - A new Web site offered by the county will help local residents who suffer from a variety of mental health issues find the help they need easily and free of charge.

The Washington County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Board will unveil to the public its new Web site on May 24 at Washington State Community College.

The site, called Network of Care, is designed to be a comprehensive, interactive database for information, communication and advocacy tools. It is part of a state and national initiative, borne out of the Bush Administration’s Commission on Mental Health report of 2003.

“It is a way that our little county is becoming part of something larger,” said Ron Rees, executive director of the county board.

The report showed access to mental health resources needed to be improved nationwide. Ohio was one of seven states to receive federal grant funding to accomplish that goal.

The Web site will be interactive, allowing residents to create their own personal accounts to save documents they find about certain illnesses, bookmark other sites that offer additional information and find the resources they need.

Residents can also create their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan on the site, which will collect the information they need for successful long-term health and help them work toward recovery.

The site is free and will include national, state and local resources and contact information for services. Rees said the Web site is not in exchange for services already offered by the board but should enhance access to all services available.

“It’s hard for people to find help, and they make the assumption that they can’t afford it,” he said. “There are a number of ways we can help cover the cost of mental health care.”

Miriam Keith, community education coordinator with the mental health board, said the site includes technology and information never offered before in the area.

“We already had a Web site and still have it, but it doesn’t have the features of this Web site,” she said. “It’s the most comprehensive site for mental health, and I’m really excited about it.”