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Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: May 13, 2016
Contact: Doug Washburn, Director
Kitsap County Department of Human Services
360.337.4526 or dwashbur@co.kitsap.wa.us
No: 2016-047

County Commissioners approve Mental Health Tax funding recommendations

(Port Orchard, WA)  The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution May 9 approving funding recommendations totaling $5.5 million from the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee.

“The committee members are very dedicated to the work we do and take pride in our role of helping to achieve the vision, goals and objectives put forth by the County Commissioners through the Behavioral Health Strategic Plan,” commented Lois Hoell, chair of the citizens committee.

Commissioner Ed Wolfe commended the volunteers serving on the Citizens Advisory Committee. “On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we want to thank them for the many hours they spent reviewing proposals, and providing us with valuable, substantive input and recommendations on funding these vital programs that will improve our community and positively impact so many citizens.”

Funds generated from the 1/10th of 1 percent sales and use tax that Commissioners approved Sept. 23, 2013, are designated for mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services in Kitsap County. Previously allocated funds were utilized for a variety of projects to prevent and reduce the impacts of disabling chemical dependency and mental illness.

“Most of us know someone who struggles with mental illness or drug and alcohol dependency,” said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “Too often, we see the gaps in our community’s behavioral health services as local jails, courts, and hospitals serve as the de facto care systems. This funding develops a continuum of care similar to the example from public health.”

Funded projects include crisis intervention training for 250 police officers, behavioral health training for 416 school staff, substance abuse disorder screening for 13,929 individuals, substance abuse treatment and re-entry services for 161 individuals released from Kitsap County Jail and the expansion of the Kitsap County Adult Felony Drug Court, adding 50 individuals to the successful program.

The 11-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee, appointed by the Commissioners to advise them on funding allocations, voted unanimously April 19 to recommend funding for 15 of the 21 proposals submitted, awards totaling nearly $5.5 million of the $5.7 million estimated to be available for an 18-month period.

"As we enter our third round of funding, the program is truly beginning to mature. The advisory committee is on the right track talking about how to measure program outcomes, what are the collective impacts, and how do we make targeted investments in a continuum that serves some of our most vulnerable citizens," said Rob Gelder, County Commissioner. "Through this program, we are all contributing to the well-being of our community and our neighbors."

Eight of the programs approved for funding were continuation proposals from the 2015-2016 funding cycle. These include funds of $61,860 to provide training for commissioned law enforcement officers in crisis intervention and triage, and $332,497 to provide behavioral health outreach services with increased staffing to serve adults with a mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders charged with minor, non-violent crimes in Kitsap County.

Seven of the programs approved for funding are new, including a Crisis Response and Coordinated Care Demonstration project, managed through the Kitsap Public Health District to support a multi-disciplinary, mobile outreach team to intervene with adults who are experiencing mental illness, chemical dependency, physical illnesses, and homelessness. Support in the amount of $1,039,535 was designated to support operation of a 16-bed crisis triage facility to provide short-term mental health crisis services and a 16-bed withdrawal management facility to provide withdrawal and detoxification services.

A complete list of projects funded for 2016-2017 is available at www.kitsapgov.com/hs/mhsa/RFP.htm, including information about the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee. More information is also available from Gay Neal of Kitsap County Human Services at 360.337.4827 or gneal@co.kitsap.wa.us.

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Last Updated:  May 13, 2016