Will County Advances Community Mental Health Board with Member Appointments
Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant today announced the appointment of seven members to serve on the newly created Will County Community Mental Health Board. The appointments were approved by the Will County Board at their January 19 meeting.
The Community Mental Health Board was approved by Will County voters by referendum in the 2022 General Election. The board will be tasked with evaluating the community’s mental health needs, creating targeted local support, and coordinating a comprehensive system of services to help with mental health issues, intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as substance abuse issues.
“Improving our countywide mental health network is a priority for Will County government,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “This new board will work to support residents facing increased mental health challenges in our communities.”
The 1967 Community Mental Health Act allows for local entities to create a board by referendum to review and evaluate community mental health services and facilities. Boards are empowered to create a written plan for expending resources to improve upon and increase services as it relates to mental health. The Will County referendum was approved by 52.92% (118,643) of voters.
The seven members appointed to the Will County Mental Health Board are Elnalyn Costa (Bolingbrook), Orlando DeYoung (Plainfield), Michael Flanagan (Green Garden Township), Katrina Jones (University Park), Terri King (Plainfield), Jessica Parks (Bolingbrook), and Ashley Searing (Joliet).
“These appointments represent a critical first step in the development of Will County’s first Community Mental Health Board,” added Bertino-Tarrant. “This diverse group of individuals have years of experience in the areas that this new board will cover. I’m excited to work with them on the next steps in forming this new body.”
Under the guidelines of the State of Illinois Community Mental Health Act, the newly appointed mental health board members will now hold a meeting prior to July 1, 2023 in order to elect their officers and to establish governing rules and regulations. The Board members will then be tasked with outlining a proposed budget and levy, which will be voted on by the Will County Board.