Kane County mental health agencies plead for funding – NBC Chicago

Long waiting lists amid growing demand for essential mental health services are prompting a number of agencies to seek more funding.

On Tuesday evening, 14 agencies signed up to make their case for federal funds from the US bailout to address a shortage of workers to meet the demand for behavioral health services.

TriCity Family Services claims to have the longest patient waiting list in its history. As of Wednesday, 154 families were on the waiting list, according to executive director Laura Poss.

“I’ve been in this business for 25 years and I’ve never seen this type of mental health crisis,” Poss said. “The waiting list we have at TriCity is longer than it’s ever been.”

Kane County has launched a pilot program in the form of a community grant that would open up $4 million to agencies specializing in mental health services, homeless shelters and food pantries.

Kane County Board Member Jarett Sanchez said within the next two months a portal may open for these agencies to apply for funds to meet their needs.

“Signing bonuses, retention bonuses, things like that; those are permitted uses,” Sanchez said. “We are working with our public health department to come up with longer-term funding plans to use the health department as a hub to distribute some of these funds.”

The Kane County U.S. Bailout Committee has yet to determine all eligibility criteria before sending it to the board for a vote.

Sanchez hopes that will happen before the end of the year.

“If I could hire 20 more therapists, I would,” Poss said. “This mental health crisis is the second pandemic.”