By: Hope Salman

The Behavior Health Leadership Team of Rockford ask board members to put a referendum question on the March 2020 ballot. It would ask for a half cent sales tax increase to go toward mental health initiatives.

Winnebago County Board Chairperson, Frank Haney says mental health is already underfunded at the state and local levels. Many local counselors agree.

“There is more and more research coming out regarding the element of how to incorporate a healthy lifestyle, along with counseling, therapy, and if medication is needed,” said Licensed Clinical Worker, Kevin Polky. It’s great to be able to assist and develop programs for young people and adults.”

Dr. Sondra Martell, from The Health Department couldn’t speak to us before the meeting, but sent a statement:
“In Winnebago County, mental health is a community health priority. Mental health impacts the health, quality of life, and welfare of all Winnebago County residents. The Winnebago County Health Department continues to work with our partner agencies to establish community resources that can address the need for crisis stabilization, early identification and outreach, and ongoing care in the community for both adult and children. WCHD supports efforts to fund mental health services in Winnebago County.”