MHRB seeking replacement levy

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

PREBLE COUNTY — Preble County voters are being asked to vote “yes” for Issue 16, a replacement levy for the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board, on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The issue is 10-year .65-mill replacement levy for the purpose of maintaining and operating mental health and recovery programs.

PCMHRB officials recently released the following statement regarding the issue:

“Depression ranks among the most costly health conditions with the U.S. spending $2.4 trillion in 2013. (Winerman, ‘By the numbers: The cost of treatment,’ p. 80) Michelle Gebhart of Gebhart Counseling Solutions LLC asserts over 20 percent of children and youth suffer from mental health disorders and only about 50 percent of them receive treatment. She states, ‘Without support from the PCMHRB, our youth would not receive the mental health support currently provided in all five school systems and within the community.’

“The cost of doing nothing can negatively impact the health of a community and ultimately be more expensive. The cost of treatment is substantially higher than the cost of prevention. Verywell Mind reported the estimated cost of drug abuse in the United States — including illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco — is more than $820 billion a year and growing. Substance abuse costs society in increased healthcare costs, crime, and lost productivity.

“Substance abuse needs are on the rise nationwide and in Preble County. While the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board is dedicated to offering the necessary services to address these needs, we realize prevention is key in minimizing emotional trauma and ultimately costs less. Benefits provided by prevention include lower costs for treatment, limited suffering, avoidable illness/disability, greater productivity, limited premature mortality, and our county enjoying more cohesive family units.”

Currently the PCMHRB is operating on 2019 expenses with 1984 revenues, according to officials. “In 1984 when the levy was originally passed, a $100,000 valued home paid approximately $22.75 per year. Today, in 2019, that same levy only collects $9.24 on the same $100,000 valued home,” the release noted.

“If the levy is replaced it will go back to the original $22.75 per $100,000 valued home,” it continues.

“If Preble County does not pass this levy, PCMHRB will be forced to cut several programs making a positive impact in our community. The cost is minimal for each of us, but collectively will make a large impact on the services provided,” Mindy Grubbs, Community Outreach and Development for PCMHRB, said in the release.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.

Reach Eddie Mowen at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.