For more information including meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes, please visit www.r1planning.org/wccmhb.
In the 2020 Winnebago County primary election, there were 43,723 votes cast for the following question: "Do you support raising our community’s sales tax one-half cent on a dollar to fund mental health services in our area?" The answer was a resounding... YES! Our community was willing to do something about the mental health crisis right here at home. When you spend two dollars, an additional penny is exclusively earmarked for community mental health and substance use disorder services in Winnebago County. The half-cent tax will raise an estimated 12 to 14 million dollars each year.
The Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board (WCCMHB) was appointed by Chairman Frank Haney and is modeled after laws regarding 708 Mental Health Boards. The WCMHB developed and passed bylaws and selected officers. Inaugural board members include Mary Ann Abate, president; Richard (Dick) Kunnert, vice president; the Reverend Doctor K.E. Copeland, treasurer; Danielle Angileri, secretary; and board members Dr. Bill Gorski, Dr. Terry Giardini, Linda Sandquist, and Tim Nabors. Wendy Larson Bennett and Jay Ware are advisors to the board.
Our hope for our community
We see a community where residents are knowledgeable about mental health and have access to high-quality mental health and substance abuse services when and where they need them.
What we are doing about it
We are an appointed group of community leaders who are passionate about improving mental health and substance abuse services in Winnebago County and coordinate them through planning, funding, evaluation, and communication.
Why we do what we do
Wellness— We support the Community Support System framework because it focuses on providing an array of services that bring people from illness to health.
Awareness— We believe mental illness and substance abuse disorders can occur at any age and can affect individuals across all domains, including race, ethnicity, income, geography, religion, gender identity, language, sexual orientation, and disability, so we strive to educate all members of our community about mental health and substance use to increase mental health literacy and prevent mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
Collaboration— We believe that relationships are foundational to coordination, so we practice teamwork and breaking down silos.
Transparency— We believe the best way to gain trust is to be truthful, so we practice open and consistent communication about our work.
Diversity— We believe complex problems require perspectives from all areas of the community, so we practice listening and cultural humility.
Client-Centered— We believe that people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders are important members of our community, so we promote services that support them with compassion and unconditional positive regard.
Intersectional— We believe that mental health is interconnected with other parts of community life and personal identity, so we promote solutions that address a combination of factors.
Trauma-Informed— We believe that no one who has experienced trauma should ever be re-traumatized during the process of seeking out or receiving mental health or substance abuse services, so we promote trauma-informed care in all areas of service delivery.
Accessibility— We believe mental health and substance abuse services should be accessible for all people irrespective of race, ethnicity, income, geography, religion, gender identity, language, sexual orientation, and disability, so we promote ADA compliance, language access, and effective communication in all areas of service delivery.
How we operate
Evidence-Based— Our decisions are driven by the best available empirical evidence and data.
Process-Oriented— We use best-practice processes to guide planning, funding, evaluation, and communications.
Outcomes-Informed— We evaluate the results of our efforts by collecting and analyzing data in order to continuously improve and maximize impact.
Equity— We fund and measure results with equity in mind, analyzing needs and outcomes by race, ethnicity, income, geography, religion, gender identity, language, sexual orientation, disability, or other demographic breakdowns.
Urgent— We operate with a sense of urgency, knowing that gaps in care affect real people.
Emergent— We stay flexible in order to identify and address new issues in the service delivery system as they are developing.
Network-Driven— We work diligently to establish a broad and diverse coalition of community stakeholders dedicated to improving the mental wellbeing of our community.
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