Winnebago County Community Mental Health board to distribute up to $8.8 million in funding

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 9:49 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A global pandemic and political chaos are a recipe for disaster and as many people struggle coping with their mental health a new source of funding to expand services is coming to Winnebago County.

The Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board began last February and after months of hard work the board rolls out its strategic plan.

“It’s a beautiful detailed funding notice and something we should all be very proud of,” said Mary Ann Abate, WCCMHB president.

The mental health board approves its first year of funding.

“They will be looking to award up to $8.8 million in alignment with their strategic plan,” said Jason Holcomb, WCCMHB staff liaison.

The funding comes from the half cent mental health sales tax passed in 2020, which Holcomb says will eventually average about $12 million a year.

“A large percentage of that will be allocated to agencies for the expansion and maintenance of mental health and substance abuse programs,” Holcomb said.

Before the funds were awarded the board put together a priority list based on answers from a community survey.

" Diagnostic supportive counseling, substance abuse services ‚case management, crisis responses, family and community support. I think it’s the wrap around care someone could need.” said Danielle Angilere, NAMI executive director.

Angileri works first hand with mental health patients through her role with the National Alliance Of Mental Illness, she says these funds are desperately needed in the area.

“For years people have seen the gaps and barriers to care and having the ability to do the environmental scan that the board did and really having the fund some of the things to close the gaps is important,” Angileri said.

Angileri says she’s looking forward to being a part of the mental health board and working with other agencies with similar goals.

“Whether it’s sharing the information to other organizations that provide mental health or social services to make them aware of the money that’s becoming available so they can off more the individuals that need it,” Angileri said.

The application opens Wednesday and will stay active until Feb. 24, agencies accepted will be notified May 3 and funding will become available June 1.

Organizations thinking about applying for the funds can find all the information in a video that will be posted to the mental health boards YouTube channel on Wednesday.

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