Ohio's 988 Improvement Project will be guided by two goals that align with Ohio's 988 needs and support and enhance Ohio's 988 workforce, while unifying 988 resources across Ohio and improving in-state answer rates. These goals will be accomplished through a Community of Practice (COP) with Ohio's 988 providers, the 988 Connect planning committee, stakeholders, and the 988 Administrator.
Goal 1: Expand Ohio's 988 workforce through recruiting, hiring, and training at the provider level.
Objective 1A: To utilize funding from this cooperative agreement to maintain and expand the workforce to answer at least 90 percent of total calls, chats, and texts to 988 by Ohioans.
Objective 1B: To convene a COP among Ohio's 19 988 providers to facilitate collaboration, coordination, sharing, and utilization of workforce development resources.
Goal 2: Engage 988 crisis centers to unify 988 responses across the state and improve response rates to meet minimum key performance indicators.
Objective 2A: To create referral and follow-up procedures that are unified across all Ohio 988 providers.
Objective 2B: To expand capacity for agencies to collect, analyze, and understand Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data and use KPI to make real-time operational decisions to improve answer rates and follow-up.
Objective 2C: To utilize formal written/intra- and inter-organizational agreements such as MOUs and MOAs to improve 988 system performance and to ensure use of best practice referral and follow-up practices.
Objective 2D: To monitor implementation of the state's primary and backup coverage map, along with he performance of the statewide backup provider.
Ohio's 988 COP also will allow each of Ohio's 988 providers to share workforce development strategies and will build capacity to collect and report monthly data on contacts that were screened for suicide ideation, referred to mental health services, linked to mental health or related services, result in an emergency rescue, suicide attempts in progress, substance use crisis, mobile crisis outreach referrals, and individuals who died by suicide.
While in FY2022, 63,613 Lifeline calls were attributed to Ohio, according to Vibrant, the total demand for Ohio's 988 services since launch was 110,749 calls/chats/texts. Based on the trend that Ohio's total calls have increased over the last nine months, and by increasing coverage and capacity to answer calls by Ohio providers, Ohio hopes to consistently meet at a minimum 90 percent Ohio call demand during all three years of the grant. Additionally, Ohio will be expanding its capacity to provide chat and text services for Ohioans and hopes to answer more than 50 percent of state demand for grant year one and 90 percent for year two and three.
Age, gender, and race all are related to suicide in Ohio, with 44 percent of Ohioans who died by suicide in 2019 being 50 or older, 80 percent being male, and 86 percent being white. 2021 data from Ohio's Careline shows that 34.5 percent of callers are seeking information, 21.4 percent present with a mental health issue, 22.1 percent with stress and anxiety, 9.8 percent feel lonely or isolated, and 3.7 percent report substance use issues. A greater percentage of females (53.5 percent) contacted the Ohio CareLine compared to males (30.3 percent). A large percentage of callers declined to provide their age (50.3 percent) and race (63.3 percent).