In 1988, all Ohio county mental health boards were affected by a sweeping change in Ohio's mental healthcare system. This change was the result of the passage of Ohio Amended Substitute Senate Bill 156, commonly know as the Mental Health Act of 1988. This new law changed the course of mental health care in Ohio and moved Ohio toward being one of the best and most innovative mental health care systems in the country.
With the Mental Health Act of 1988 came new responsibilities for mental health boards. The new law integrated the community-based mental health care system with the state institutional-based mental health care system. It also assigned responsibility for the total care of persons with mental illness to local mental health boards.
Persons identified as severely mentally disabled and severely emotionally disturbed are the priority consumer populations for federal and state funding. Community mental health boards are responsible for individuals civilly committed to the Board by probate court - which includes arranging and paying for inpatient psychiatric care provided at state mental hospitals.