Mental health board seeks levy renewal

By Andrea Chaffin McKinney -

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties has a renewal property tax levy on the ballot organizers are calling “critical” to the organization’s mission.

The 0.5 mill-levy will generate $391,000 annually. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $9.80 annually, according to the Madison County Board of Elections.

The first mental health levy was passed in 2004 and renewed in 2009 by almost 70 percent. Levy dollars account for 20 percent of the organization’s services, according to Curt Gillespie, CEO.

He emphasized the levy includes no increase.

The levy will help fund the organization’s services, such as counseling, case management, medication, school-based prevention and community-based education and prevention.

Mental Health and Recovery services provide important prevention to help people cope with struggles, maintain their health, or reclaim their lives., Gillespie said.

“Depression, anxiety, and suicide are on the rise across our country. Severe economic struggles cause a chain reaction in peoples’ lives. As stress and anxiety worsen, the burden can become heavy to the point of psychological distress,” he stated. “If help is not within reach, it can result in acts of desperation and/or physical illness, including heart attacks or strokes.”

Gillespie said one in every five adults experience a mental illness; nearly one in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness; one-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-fourths by the age of 24.

“From health and security to hope, recovery and independent living, the people of Madison County provided life-giving services by passing the Mental Health Levy in 2004 and renewing the levy in 2009,” he stated. “By renewing this levy on Nov. 3, we renew our commitment to being a community who cares to help those who need us most.”

By Andrea Chaffin McKinney

Andrea Chaffin McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.

Andrea Chaffin McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.