Cuyahoga County Press Release — November 1, 2021
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – As of today, family, friends or individuals seeking assistance with mental illness or substance use issues may call (216) 623-6888 to connect with the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center. The Center is expanding eligibility beyond law enforcement referrals to include calls from friends, family members and individuals in need of and wanting care for a mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
Those seeking admission should call the 24/7 Help Line operated by FrontLine Service at (216) 623-6888. The behavioral health specialists at FrontLine conduct a phone screening to determine if the Diversion Center or another treatment option is best for the individual. The Cuyahoga County Diversion Center is unable to accept walk-ins. All potential clients must be screened through FrontLine by calling (216) 623-6888.
“The Cuyahoga County Diversion Center was developed to divert people who need mental health and substance use treatment away from the criminal justice system. That is still the primary purpose,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “We can also use this facility to help people with mental illness or substance use issues from further escalating into a psychiatric situation and hospitalization, while still reducing the burden on our jails.”
The Diversion Center is a voluntary option for non-violent adults 18 or older.
When it opened on May 3, 2021, the Center accepted referrals from Cuyahoga County law enforcement, for individuals living with mental illness or addiction who were involved in a low-level, non-violent offense that put them at risk for arrest. Twenty Cuyahoga County police departments have used the Center for that purpose. Along with the expanded option for residents, law enforcement and public safety officers can now make referrals in the absence of a low-level offense.
“A person might stay at the Diversion Center for four to five days depending on their needs, and that can be a turning point in a person’s life,” said Scott S. Osiecki, CEO of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. “The Diversion Center is an option when people are struggling to manage mental health issues or substance use disorders, when symptoms are getting worse. The Diversion Center staff works with the individual to stabilize the symptoms and connect or reconnect to ongoing care.”
A call to (216) 623-6888 does not guarantee placement at the Diversion Center; however the specialists at FrontLine will work with the caller to find the right care.
The Cuyahoga County Diversion Center is a 50-bed facility, with staff onsite 24/7. Services can include assessment, medical evaluation, case management, counseling, medications, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), withdrawal management (detox), NAMI educational groups, referral and linkage to other community services. Treatment costs are covered by Medicaid or the local ADAMHS Board. Treatment services are certified through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS).
Oriana House operates the Center. The ADAMHS Board provides planning, management and oversight of the project. In support of the Center’s primary mission of pre-arrest diversion, the ADAMHS Board also has trained 684 participants from 52 law enforcement and public service departments in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training this year.
For more information about the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center, visit adamhscc.org/diversioncenter.