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Editorial: Mental health levy will fund care for many neighbors

November 1, 2011
The Marietta Times

Almost daily, people in our community seeking help with mental health issues or addiction are turned away because they do not have insurance and cannot pay.

It's a tragic cycle, because many of these people who go untreated find their way to emergency rooms, even jails, which in the end cost our community more than it would have if they had gotten the care they needed, when they needed it.

On Election Day, Nov. 8, we think voters should support a 1-mill levy that will raise funds for the Washington County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Board.

The levy would generate more than $1 million a year. That's a cost of less than $32 a year to the owner of a $100,000 home.

The money would help the county cover the cost of care to people who have no insurance or Medicaid. For those who can pay something toward their treatment, the new money would allow them to pay on a sliding scale based on their income.

In recent years, the state funding to cover such patients has been drastically cut, and those cuts are only expected to continue.

Across Ohio's 88 counties, only 14 counties do not have a levy in place to support mental health and addiction services. Washington County is one of those 14 and many of our residents are suffering because of it.

It's time to join other communities across the state in realizing the importance of treating mental health and drug addiction. Vote yes for the mental health services levy Nov. 8.



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