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County Council

Posted on: July 23, 2015

Councilmembers Young, Ladenburg call for countywide mental health audit

In response to the growing behavioral health crisis facing Pierce County, Councilmembers Connie Ladenburg and Derek Young have introduced a resolution calling for an audit of the County’s mental health resources.

“We know that we have a mental health crisis in our community that is not currently being addressed by existing efforts. An audit would allow the Council to determine its role in responding to this crisis and to make informed decisions about a comprehensive approach to providing needed services,” said Ladenburg, who represents the 4th Council District. “The County has to stop ignoring this problem and blaming others for not stepping up. It is all of our responsibility to care for those who are least able to care for themselves.”

R2015-91 calls for a comprehensive audit of Pierce County’s behavioral health system in order to identify gaps in service, where investments would be appropriate and what success should look like.

“Everyone I’ve spoken with in either the health care or law enforcement fields agrees that something needs to be done to get the problem under control. This is the first step toward reaching a solution that will ultimately save lives,” said Young, who represents the County’s 7th Council District. “I believe we have a moral obligation to help people suffering from mental illness, but it's also in the County’s financial best interest. This crisis is straining public and private resources from hospitals, social services and even the jail.”

“When I took this job, I made a commitment to find solutions to this crisis,” Young added, “and by spring I intend to have a plan ready for action.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Derek Young, Pierce County Council
(253) 798-7776
derek.young@co.pierce.wa.us

Connie Ladenburg, Pierce County Council
(253) 798-7590
connie.ladenburg@co.pierce.wa.us

Erich R. Ebel, Pierce County Communications
(253) 798-6220
eebel@co.pierce.wa.us

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