COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine dedicated nearly one-fifth of his State of the State address Wednesday to the state’s growing mental health crisis.

During his one-hour speech, DeWine detailed issues including suicide in young Ohioans, drug overdoses, and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

“Accidental drug overdose deaths remain at record levels,” DeWine said. “The shared adversity of the COVID pandemic has worsened rates of depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Access to care still remains elusive for too many Ohioans. And over 40 percent of Ohio children have experienced one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences, putting them at higher risk for lifelong health and mental health challenges.”

DeWine said to help fix these issues, the state needs to fund and grow its behavioral health workforce, increase research and innovation, build community capacity for care that offers better crisis response services and treatment, increase prevention efforts, and add more residential and outpatient services.

“In the Ohio I see, fewer families face the unimaginable grief of losing a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, or a parent to suicide or overdose. Shame, fear, stigma, and embarrassment are erased. Mental illness is treated as a health issue, not as a crime. And, those who seek help are met with respect and treated with the dignity they deserve,” he continued.