City Considers More Mental Health Funding for Social Welfare Board

City Considers More Mental Health Funding for Social Welfare Board

St. Joseph's City Council will consider a bill that would provide more mental health funding for Buchanan County's Social Welfare Board.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph's City Council will consider a bill that would provide more mental health funding for Buchanan County's Social Welfare Board at its meeting Monday night.

The bill would add $50,000 to the city's existing five year contract with the welfare board.

The money comes at a time when the board is seeing a greater need to provide mental health services.

"One in ten people in the state of Missouri have some sort of mental health issue," said Executive Director of the Social Welfare Board Linda Judah. "Forty percent are going untreated."

Judah says approximately 65 percent of patients at the welfare board have one or more mental health issue.

Because of the high number, the welfare board refers a good number of its patients to the Samaritan Center.

"Our referrals have gone from about 50 a year to nearly to about 320 right now for the past 12 months.

The money from the bill the city council will consider would help pay the salaries of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers who help treat patients.

The city already provides about 40 percent of the welfare board's funds.
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