What More Funding for Children’s Mental Health Can Do

Because of a 2016 voter-approved sales tax, the Childrens’ Services Fund has been able to award more than $68 million to Jackson County organizations promoting children’s mental health and social-emotional wellbeing. What if we could do more? 

Why Jackson County Kids Need More Mental Health Funding

According to the World Health Organization, “The quality of the environment where children and adolescents grow up shapes their well-being and development. Early negative experiences in homes, schools, or digital spaces, such as exposure to violence, the mental illness of a parent or other caregiver, bullying and poverty, increase the risk of mental illness.”

A lot of Jackson County kids under the age of 19 are living in situations that are negatively impacting their mental health. For example, more than 25% of students across the Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Independence, Kansas City, and Raytown school districts are living below the poverty line (Community Mental Health Fund).

There’s a lot at stake. That’s why so many outstanding organizations are supporting the mental health of local kids through crisis intervention, counseling, home and community based intervention, outpatient psychiatric treatment, outpatient substance abuse treatment, temporary shelter, transitional housing, prevention, services to teen parents, and respite care. But right now, we can only fund 60% of the requests we get. That leaves a lot of critically important funding opportunities off the table. 

Funding More Programs to Serve More Kids and Families

If the voter-approved levy is adjusted to 1/4 of a cent, and made permanent, that opens up a lot of amazing opportunities for Jackson County kids ages 19 and under. This additional funding would allow the CSF to:

  • Offer greater financial support to existing programs
  • Fund new programs
  • Fund program expansions into new parts of the county
  • Help more Jackson County kids and families

We want to continue supporting local kids and families. The CSF is very intentional about funding opportunities and about stewarding our resources well. As the Secretary of Health & Human Services, Xavier Becerra said, “Mental health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of our country’s children and young adults.” It’s why we exist, and why we want to keep doing more for Jackson County children.

Learn more about how the fund works and our partner funded organizations.

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