Mental Health levy on fall ballot

Staff Report

DELAWARE — The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board announced that it is seeking a funding request on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot.

The Board is asking voters to support a renewal of its current 1 mill property tax with an additional .5 mills, bringing the new total to 1.5 mills.

The DMMHRSB funds behavioral health programs and services for residents in the two-county area, largely through the funds generated through the current levy. If approved, the levy will cost a property owner $41.56 —$3.46 per month — for every $100,000 of taxable property value.

The funding will ensure the ongoing availability of a safety net of mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services. These services include crisis care, programs for children and families, prevention, and many more across the behavioral health continuum.

Specialized programs for providers, first responders, healthcare workers and other essential workers facing burnout, significant stress, anxiety, depression, or other issues would also continue.

The board currently partners with the following behavioral health providers in Delaware and Morrow Counties:

• Big Brothers Big Sisters

• Del-Mor Dwellings

• HelpLine

• Jacob Edward Walls Foundation

• Maryhaven

• NAMI Delaware and Morrow counties

• Prevention Awareness Support Services

• Recovery & Prevention Resources

• Safe Harbor Peer Support

• Southeast Healthcare, Inc.

• Syntero

• Turning Point

A news release states that in addition, passing this levy will allow the board to maintain and expand provider capacity for a rapidly growing population in need of mental health and recovery services. Increased funding will help meet the evolving mental health and addiction services needs and create innovative solutions for those in crisis, including outreach, in-school counseling, services for parents, family counseling, and early intervention.

“We are at a crucial point with behavioral healthcare in our area,” said DMMHRSB Executive Director Deanna Brant. “People are more likely to seek help, and we need to be there for them. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for voters to say ‘yes’ to mental health.”

Tiesha Johnson, Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services board member, and Mike Schnell, Morrow County Drug & Alcohol Awareness & Prevention of Morrow County Coalition member, will serve as co-chairs of the levy campaign committee.

“We’re working very hard to continue supporting those with mental health and addiction needs in the two counties,” said Johnson. “But we’re also finding ways to meet the incredible demand for these services. More and more people want and need help, and this levy will allow us to be there for them. Without it, we won’t be able to purchase these effective and efficient services that are so desperately needed right now.”

“Living through a pandemic, people looking to take care of their mental health in large numbers,” said Schnell. “As we continue to recover from COVID-19, this levy will fund services dedicated to helping essential workers, first responders, and recovery crisis services through HelpLine’s 24/7 Hotline, same-day services at Southeast Healthcare and Maryhaven, and more.”

Staff Report