The state has a new agency today - made up of the merging of two existing agencies.
The Department of Mental Health and the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services are now the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The agency will be headed by the state's Mental Health director, Tracy Plouck. She says while it will help the state reach out to the estimated 3.5 million Ohioans who are dealing with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems, it won't be a giant "mega-agency."
Plouck: "We are not adding staff as a result of this consolidation. We are actually decreasing through some attrition over time. So, we're proud of the fact that we've not had to do any layoffs resulting from this, but every dollar that we save we're going to put into services."
Plouck says the merger will save the state 1.5 million dollars a year, which will go into that Community Innovations programs. And Plouck says her department won't order the three counties that still have two separate agencies for mental health and addiction services to merge those entities. She says that remains a local decision.