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Mental health levy to go ahead

July 16, 2011
From staff reports , The Marietta Times

Washington County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Board voted unanimously this week to move forward with a levy.

The board is seeking a 1-mill levy that would restore funding to 2007 totals and ensure services for individuals who have no insurance or Medicaid.

In 2007, the board had $1.47 million available for non-Medicaid patients. This year the board has just over $417,000 to treat individuals with no insurance.

Funding to the local office has been cut by nearly 75 percent over the past few years and additional cuts are expected next year.

Board members said the lack of funding is forcing them to turn away individuals almost daily who are seeking help with mental illness or addiction.

"It's our job to raise funds for mental health and substance abuse," said David Browne, executive director of the Washington County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Board. "If we don't and the money goes away, we didn't do our job. If we ask and the levy goes down, we tried. We're going to try our best. There's just no other alternative."

The proposed five-year 1-mill levy would generate about $1 million annually for the board.

The levy would cost a person with a $100,000 home approximately $31.50 each year.

Currently, 74 of Ohio's 88 counties have a mental health levy in place.



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