PORTAGE COUNTY VOTERSYour Support Helps Family, Friends, Neighbors
INFORMATION FOR PORTAGE COUNTY VOTERSThe Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County has the responsibility for the entire county to provide funding public mental health and addiction services. The board has taken on the important task of providing Portage County with 24-hour crisis services that help persons in crisis, families, law enforcement and other social service agencies that need 24-hour coverage for the people they serve.
The system of mental health and recovery services overseen by the MHRB is mostly supported by Portage County residents through local levies which come up for votes periodically. Levies are property taxes from Portage County property owners that have made the local system of services possible.
How are funds from the local levies used?
Funds generated by a levy provide mental health and addiction treatment, crisis services, education and suicide prevention services through a network of local, community-based agencies: Coleman Professional Services, Townhall II, Children’s Advantage and Family & Community Services.
When do I vote on the current levies?
There will be a 0.3 tenths mill in 2016 and a 0.5 tenths mill in 2018. A 1-mill does not come due until 2023.
How much do the levies cost me?
Currently, the three levies cost $3 per month on $100,000 of property valuation.
How do individuals, families and communities benefit from services funded mental health and recovery levies?
- SAFE COMMUNITIES Residents in crisis including at risk for suicide can access 24-hour crisis, information and referral services funded by the levy. There were more than 38,000 contacts in 2014.
- HEALTHY CHILDREN AND TEENS Children can grow up to have the best life possible when mental health issues, including sexual/physical abuse, are taken care of early through services funded by levies.
- SERVICES TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS Students are better able to learn and be successful in school. More than 600 students were screened through a program funded by the levy at schools in 2014 with 46% referred for services.
- CARING FOR OUR VETERANS Levies provide funding for mental health and addiction treatment to veterans and their families in Portage County.
- SERVICES HELP WORKERS AND BUSINESSES Working adults have access to services funded by levies so they can remain on-the-job. Employees and families benefit; businesses maintain a productive work force; and communities prosper.
- QUALITY OF COMMUNITY LIFE Community life is improved for everyone because levy funds ensure that residents with limited incomes have access to affordable mental health and addiction treatment. Individuals and families pay what they can afford on a sliding scale.
- REDUCING RISKS Family life is improved when youth receive education to reduce the risk of addiction and sexual abuse. Levy funds helped make prevention available to more than 3,800 youth in 2014.
- COMMUNITY NEEDS AFTER DISASTER Levies provides funding that means the county will be able to respond to mental health and addiction issues in communities after a disaster or a crisis.
- TRAINING FOR SAFETY FORCES Safety personnel and teachers are safer and have more tools to help persons in crisis because levy funds support special Crisis Intervention Team training. They learn skills to stay safe on the job, while ensuring the person with mental illness is safe and receives appropriate services.
Levy UpdatesA 0.3 tenths mill level, originally passed in 1976, will come up for voter consideration in 2016.
Interested in volunteering? Join the Citizens Committee for Good Mental Health by calling the Mental Health & Recovery Board at 330-673-1756, ext. 201.