ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Tim Nabors has been a member of the Winnebago County Mental Health Board for the two years it has been in existence. Nabors believes the first step toward addressing mental health issues is opening up the conversation to everyone.
“Between social media and COVID, it really sparked a conversation about mental health,” Nabors said. “Treating it improves their quality of life and helps keep the community safe.”
Leaders say breaking down the stigmas associated with mental health paves the way for struggling people to learn about the services offered to help the state.
“Mental health issues are an issue across the country and obviously our community is not immune to individuals who have these issues,” said Rockford Alderperson Chad Tuneberg.
Tuneberg says that while getting people the help they need is top of mind, there are some fiscal concerns. Specifically, he wants to make sure the new federal grant money coming in for these programs is really making a difference in giving struggling people a healthier mindset.
“Even if it’s federal, it’s still our taxpayers’ money,” Tuneberg said. “So we want to make sure they’re working.”
Council members approved about $1.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday night. Tuneberg and Nabors agree that dollars can make a difference, leading to a win-win not just for individuals, but for the community as a whole.
“If we give people more stability mentally and physically, we would have a better workforce and more jobs,” Nabors said.
Rosecrance and Carpenter’s Place are some of the organizations that will benefit from this federal funding.
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