The shortage of mental health services in Kankakee County has been a long-standing problem. Just about anyone trying to access services can tell you what a nightmare it is. More than 1000 Kankakee County residents
participated in recent countywide assessments completed by the Partnership for a Healthy Community and
Kankakee County. Both assessments identified the need for increased mental health services as a high priority.
One of the main barriers to increasing services is the lack of funding for costs that are not met by private and
public insurance, grants, and personal resources. Passage of a referendum to adopt a ¼ cent sales tax would
provide local funds to address local situations. This would provide long-term solutions to critical service shortages throughout the county. Some of the ways these funds could be used, include:
Funding decisions will be made by a seven-member Mental Health Board appointed by the County Board. Reliable resources mean stable foundations to create sustainable jobs and programs in the mental health field. A sales tax
shares the costs with everyone – even those who do not live in our county but work and travel here.
A ¼ cent sales tax would mean paying one cent more on a $4 sandwich or beverage, or 25 cents more on a
$100 non-exempt purchase. Groceries, prescription drugs, and motorized vehicles are examples of purchases
which would be exempt from this tax.
This problem is not going away. It is only getting more urgent. Kankakee County voters now have the opportunity to decide if they are willing to adopt a ¼ cent sales tax to create local, long-term solutions to chronic gaps in our mental health system of care.