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Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
Date: May 13, 2015
Contact: Doug Washburn, Director Department of Human Services 360.337.4526 or
No: 2015-048

County Commissioners approve committee recommendations for Mental Health Tax funding

(Port Orchard, WA) - The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution May 11 approving $2.4 million in funding for programs designated to provide mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County with revenue generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax.

Program funding allocations followed recommendations of the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee, made up of 11 members appointed by Commissioners who voted unanimously April 21 to recommend funding for 10 of the 13 proposals submitted, totaling $2.4 million of the $3.1 million estimated to be available annually. Committee Chair Russell Hartman presented the committee’s recommendations at the Commissioners’ May 11 business meeting.

“The projects we’re able to fund are hugely important to our community,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Rob Gelder. “At the same time, it will be extremely important to be able to evaluate and measure the impacts the respective projects have within our county.”

Seven of the programs approved for funding were continuation proposals from 2014. These include $229,379 awarded to West Sound Treatment Center to provide chemical dependency services at the Kitsap County Jail and $835,418 awarded to the Olympic Educational Services District to provide behavioral health intervention and suicide prevention programs in all five Kitsap County school districts.

Three of the funded programs are new, including a pilot program managed through the City of Poulsbo to provide behavioral health services for adults with mental health and substance abuse disorders involved in the criminal justice system through the Poulsbo and Port Orchard municipal courts. Commissioners also approved a Veterans Therapeutic Court program to serve 25 veterans with mental health and substance-use disorders who are involved in the Kitsap County Superior Court system.

This is the second year funds were available from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax, approved by Commissioners in September 2013. Some of the reported outcomes of programs funded in 2014 include:
• 583 students enrolled in behavioral health services for individuals, groups, and case management;
• 432 educators trained in areas related to behavioral health addressing depression and suicide prevention;
• 209 law enforcement officers countywide completed crisis intervention training;
• 27 new law enforcement officers certified as crisis intervention specialists;
• a crisis intervention board established to coordinate countywide crisis intervention.

A complete list of approved 2015 funding recommendations is available at Information on the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee and all projects funded is available at the website listed above or contact Doug Washburn, director of Kitsap County Human Services, at 360-337-4526,

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Last Updated: 
May 13, 2015