October 11th Forum on how 708 Community Mental Health Boards can Help Persons with Disabilities

Updated 10/10/2022 10:29 AM

An upcoming forum on Tuesday, October 11, will highlight how 708 Community Mental Health Boards can help persons with disabilities. Residents in Schaumburg and Wheeling townships will have the opportunity to vote on the Mental Health Referendum this November that will allow for the creation of these boards. As the election is fast approaching, mental health advocates in these townships are providing forums to educate residents about the importance of 708 boards in funding much-needed care for those affected by mental illness, addiction, and for persons with disabilities, and how a vote of YES for the referendum to create these boards will make such a difference in communities. Previous forums focused on 708 Boards in relation to substance abuse disorder and mental health crisis.

The forum will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and the focus will be on 708 Boards in regards to intellectual and developmental disability concerns in local communities. Speakers will include Warren Newhauser, parent; Francesca Kenney, Ups for Downs; Hollis Gorrie, Clearbrook; and Karen Fay, Center for Enriched Living.


There will also be an option to join both these events via Zoom. For this option, sign-up is at www.AdvocateFor708.org/events. Otherwise, registration is not required for in-person attendance for either event. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is located at 500 N. Dunton Avenue in Arlington Heights.

708 Boards, which exist in many counties and townships throughout Illinois, provide additional funding in their communities to provide targeted and comprehensive care to help those affected by mental illness, addiction, or developmental disabilities. These boards are appointed by the Township and are made up of volunteer experts and those with firsthand knowledge of the need for these services in their communities. The 708 boards are directly funded to provide grants for mental health services by a small increase in property taxes dictated by Illinois law to not go beyond 0.15% of a property's current assessed value for the residents in townships. A goal to raise $1.5 million each year would be reached by a small increase of $25 yearly for an average priced home of $274,440 in Schaumburg and Wheeling townships.

"I know from personal experience and from talking to so many people over the past year that there is a true need for a Community Mental Health Board in our communities. While we are fortunate to have as many services as we do in our area, there are still long wait lists and gaps in services. It is amazing that for the price of a pizza, around $25 a year per household, that such a great resource can be created to address mental health needs in our communities."

For more information on the 708 boards or upcoming events, contact Lorri Grainawi, at lorri.grainawi@gmail.com or call 224-800-1639.