Issue 24 campaign members rally

A sign at the rally for Issue 24

The Mental Health and Recovery services Board of Lucas County rallied to generate support for Issue 24.

Scott Sylak, Executive Director of the Board, explains Issue 24.

"Issue 24 is the Mental Health and Recovery services Board $1,000,000 additional property tax levyâ?¦it will fund treatmentâ?¦preventionâ?¦and recovery support services for the mentally ill and substance-using residents in Lucas Countyâ?¦it is for 10 years."

It will cost a home owner of a $100,000 home, $2.53 per month.

At the rally, 22 counties were represented with around 170 people in attendance. There were many workshops and a consumer panel where people shared their stories.

Peg Morrison, Communications and Fundraising Manager of Neighborhood Properties Inc. commented about the rally.

She said, "we are getting together to celebrate recovery, particularly looking at integrated health."

Integrated health includes mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and physical disabilities.

Morrison continues, "it is important for people who live with mental illness, because it is an opportunity to be around peersâ?¦to not feel like (they) have to hold back or shield part of (their) identity from the people in the room."

However, the focus of the rally was on the Mental Health and Recovery services Board levy.

Sylak explains people who have untreated mental illness have a tendency to get their primary care in emergency rooms and can die 25 years younger than the average citizen. People with mental illness or an addiction, can cycle in and out of the criminal justice system.

He continued by saying that those trends raise the costs of personal healthcare and criminal justice services.

"With the small investment in our community, to provide funds for treatment and recovery support, we can reduce those costs," Scott Sylak explains.