3/21/2017

SUPPORT Investment in the Local Mental Health Care System

Pierce County Council Executive Dammeier has proposed a budget that includes $4.7 million for mental health care improvements in our county, including specially trained mobile crisis units that would quickly respond to people in mental health crisis, relieving pressure on families, businesses and police. This would have benefits across the community. From the News Tribune:

"The $4.7 million Dammeier proposes putting into the fund, which he hopes will be bolstered by contributions from the private sector and the state, also will go toward a 16-bed, short stay diversion center and a one-time $500,000 contribution to the planned 120-bed psychiatric hospital to be jointly run by MultiCare and CHI Franciscan. The total $10.7 million supplemental budget adjustment also includes more than $1 million for homelessness-related services, with an emphasis on housing homeless military veterans and serving youths and young adults.

The financial promise, it's been pointed out, is roughly half of what the county would have brought in had the County Council mustered the supermajority of votes neededlast year to pass a countywide one tenth of 1 percent sales tax for mental health and chemical dependency programs.

"I am not waiting for the council to act on a mental health tax," Dammeier recently told The News Tribune editorial board. "We can't stand by idly.""

Who to Call:

Script

For Exec. Dammeier: Hello, my name is ________ and I am a resident of Pierce County. I'm calling today to thank Executive Dammeier for investing in mental heath care in Pierce County. A more effective system is vital to the safety and health of Pierce County residents, and I hope he will continue to invest in and support the ongoing process of better mental health care in Pierce County.

(If you have a relevant personal story, please share it at this point)

Thank you!

For Your Council Member: Hello, my name is ______ and I live in [specific address]. I read about the proposal for $4.7 million for immproved mental health care in Pierce County, including crisis response teams, and I'm really excited about it because it would be good for people who are ill, good for our neighborhoods and businesses, and would relieve stress on police who aren't trained mental health professionals.

(If you have a relevant personal story, please share it at this point)

I'd like to ask the Councilmember to support this budget. Thank you.