Tag Archives: mental health

Leaguers Urged to Support Appleton’s Single-Payer Bill

Here are notes on recent developments from our Health Committee chair:
1) Obama’s Health Care Reform Law that goes into effect in 2014 allows states to request a federal waiver to implement a health care delivery system known as a single payer or Medicare for everyone. Rep. Sherry Appleton has introduced HB1085 that would authorize our state to apply for a waiver and upon approval adopt a single payer system in 2017. You can read the bill at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1085.

The LWVWA supports the single payer health care system and many Leaguers will be attending a Health Care and Wellness Committee hearing on Appleton’s bill today (Feb. 1) in Olympia. Rep. Jan Angel, 26th Legislative District, is on this Committee and this is a request for you to contact Jan Angel to express your support for this legislation. Representative Angel can be contacted at 360-443-2409 or at her District Office, 360-786-7964. If you live in her District you can e-mail her at jan.angel@leg.wa.gov or by going to her Website. Thanks for your help.

2) At their January 2 meeting, the LWVK Board signed a Resolution in support of the Kitsap County Commissioners passing a 1/10th of one-percent sales tax increase to fund new mental health, chemical dependency and related housing and criminal justice services. It is estimated that over $3 million would be available annually. Our League is participating on the Strategic Leadership Committee to help gather community support for the initiative and to provide assistance in any way we can to assure improved services in our county. Nineteen counties and the City of Tacoma have already passed this tax. If passed the tax would begin the first month of the next quarter and funds would be collected for a year giving time to develop the programs and assure funding availability. An oversight committee will be formed to assure neutrality, transparency and accountability including an evaluation of the efficacy and cost savings of each funded program. Many thanks to those League members who have volunteered to help gather signatures for the Resolution.
Pam Hamon, Chair
LWVK Health Committee

Board Endorses Sales Tax for Mental Health

The Board of Directors of LWV Kitsap has joined Judge Jay Roof, Judge Anna Laurie, CEO Scott Bosch of Harrison Medical Center and many others to support a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax increase for mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs.
The resolution passed unanimously by the board on Jan. 2 is below:



Whereas, mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs and services have been shown effective in helping people recover from behavioral health illness, thereby reducing human and financial costs to society, and increasing the productivity of individuals as members of our community, and
Whereas, such services are known to prevent and reduce costly and unnecessary involvement with criminal justice and court system, emergency medical care, shelters, and crisis services, and promote recovery for persons with disabling mental illness and chemical dependency by implementing a full continuum of treatment, including outpatient treatment, housing, and case management services, and
Whereas, the public mental health system, funded by state and federal dollars, does not have adequate resources to provide outpatient treatment to non-Medicaid eligible individuals, and
Whereas, current and forecasted funding does not provide the needed funds to establish and/or maintain therapeutic court programs shown to reduce crime, recidivism and support recovery, and
Whereas, decreased availability of less costly behavioral health out-patient services rapidly results in use of emergent and far more expensive crisis services, where these increasingly scarce dollars must be used to treat people in costly inpatient units and hospitals, an unnecessary toll in both human suffering and financial burden, and
Whereas, the Washington State Legislature adopted in 2005, Chapter 504 (E2SSB 5763) authorizing counties to fix and impose a sales and use tax in the amount of one-tenth of one percent (1/10%) to provide new or expanded mental health or chemical dependency treatment programs and services that include but are not limited to treatment services, case management, and housing that are a component of a coordinated chemical dependency or mental health treatment program or services, and to provide for the operation of new or expanded therapeutic court programs,
Whereas, 20 of 37 counties in Washington State have successfully enacted E2SSB 5763, in order to promote recovery for persons with disabling mental illness and chemical dependency, and
Whereas, the League of Women Voters of Kitsap is gravely concerned the loss of local, state,

and federal funds to our community has resulted in a diminished capacity to provide necessary behavioral health services for children, families, adults and older adults, and that the uncertain forecast for additional funding losses will result in an even greater lack of access to behavioral health care, compromising the health and safety of individuals and the community.

Be it known that the League of Women Voters of Kitsap stands firmly behind enactment of a sales and use tax increase and recommends adoption of this tax to help ensure mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs and services, with specific attention to provision of services through the county jail, juvenile justice system, children’s services and schools, county courts, inpatient and outpatient facilities, shelters and housing services for eligible, high need individuals.

Next Meeting To Focus on Mental Health Issues

With recent tragedies, both nationally and locally, involving mental illness, the League of Women Voters of Kitsap will host a
Conversation about Mental Health Issues
Wednesday, March 23
9:30 a.m.-Noon
Poulsbo Library
700 NE Lincoln Road

Speakers: Jane Cartmell and Jim Decker, Educators for the NAMI Family to Family Program, and Joe Roszak, Director of Kitsap Mental Health

When and how should citizens get involved? What can you do if a loved one, neighbor, or colleague is showing signs of mental illness? Who do we call on for advice or help? Come with your questions and concerns.

For information call
Connie Waddington
(206) 842-9483