Nonprofit leaders join efforts to support half cent for mental health tax

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - - The upcoming referendum would add a half cent sales tax. That's one penny for every two dollars spent. The funds would support a new mental health program created by special committees in Winnebago County. Xavier Whitford with the Tommy Corral Foundation feels especially close to the cause. She lost her 19 year old son to suicide a few years ago and hopes no one has to suffer the way she has.

"It's not easy talking about it. It's not easy the fact that we have to live everyday without our son, because this depression took his life. But, we have to talk about it. People have to hear this. People have to understand," said Whitford.

"The idea is creating a plan, a strategic plan, a world class mental health plan for this community before we spend the funds," said Frank Haney.

Leaders urge people to vote yes on the march 17th ballot. They predict the half-cent sales tax will generate between $12-13 million in funding.