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1/2 Cent for Mental Health

Citizens for a Healthy Community is a group of fellow community members who have created the “1⁄2 Cent for Mental Health” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to generate $12-13 million annually for much-needed mental health and addiction services in Winnebago County for seriously mentally ill and addicted children and adults. There will be a question on the March 17 primary ballot regarding whether Winnebago County should implement a 1⁄2 cent sales tax to raise additional funds for mental health purposes.  The campaign is working to generate a positive outcome on March 17.

There is significant need for mental health and addiction services in Winnebago County.

  • Without sufficient mental health services, our community will destabilize and quality of life will decrease for the person and their family; lifespan will decrease.
  • 20% of County residents meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis in their lifetime — affecting 40-50% of families.
  • Winnebago County Deaths related to mental Illness and addiction in 2018: 235 people 

We need local funding for these services.

  • Winnebago County is the largest urban area in Illinois that has no local funding for mental health or addiction services.  
  • Crisis Response and Mental Health Treatment have been cited as top priorities in community surveys.

For every $2 cup of coffee, you raise a penny and save a life, prevent a suicide, prevent a death by overdose.

Winnebago County will NOT use property taxes to fund mental health services. Instead, a small sales tax can meet community needs.

There is cost to inaction: If we don’t take care of people most in need, we will pay more for public services – police, fire, courts; ER visits and hospitals. Employers will suffer lost productivity. The human cost and impact on individuals and families is immeasurable. This is an investment in a safe, healthy community.  

There is an upcoming, public informational session- please educate yourselves!


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