Your Voice is Needed Now! Important Vote Tomorrow to Expand Wayne County Mental Health Services
WARE is asking you to make a phone call to your town supervisor TODAY asking them to vote in favor of accepting a $4,000,000 grant to expand the capacity of Wayne Behavioral Health to create a 24/7 mental health crisis response system as well as acute mental health services and ongoing care for all ages.
As you may recall, Wayne County added a provision in its Executive Order 203,Police Reform & Reinvention plan to commit funds for Mental Health Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). We have just learned that Wayne County is the only municipality in New York State to receive acceptance for mental health funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
There is a question as to whether our Board of Supervisors will accept this grant because it commits the county to hiring extra employees under the grant with the concern that the county will have to find funds to pay these extra salaries after the two year grant is completed. However, the services provided by these new employees at that time will be billable at the end of the grant, so it is possible that there will be no future added cost to the county for maintaining this level of service. But we know there is will be a human cost if the grant funding is rejected.
Why this is so important:
1.Mental health providers are presently carrying a caseload 50% above the recommended level.
2.This past year has seen a doubling of drug overdoses in our county, a 500% increase in opioid related deaths.
3.We experienced 82 deaths last year related to alcohol and opioid use and suicides in our community.
4.10% of all our children have or are in mental health crisis, many have made a plan to commit suicide over the past year and almost half of our children age4-6 have displayed emotional instability.
We cannot let our community down. Call your supervisor to vote in favor of accepting this federal grant (for contact info: https://web.co.wayne.ny.us/index.php/cotb/)
Also, please join us Tuesday morning at 9 AM in the old Wayne County Courthouse for the meeting of the Board of Supervisors, at which time they will be voting on a resolution to approve the first personnel positions designated in the grant.
John L. Ghertner, MD
Wayne Action for Racial Equality