Mental Health Advisory Committee may recommend referendum vote to Knox County Board

A seven-member Mental Health Advisory Committee has been working to gather perceptions of mental health services in Knox County.
The committee was formed in October and at their next meeting may make a formal recommendation that the Knox County Board approve putting a property tax referendum on the ballot for voters in April 2017 to create a 708 Mental Health Board.

December would be the last month in which the board could approve the referendum if it’s to reach the April ballots.

Mark Rudolph is CEO at KCCDD and gave an update on the committee’s actions, today.  Rudolph is one of the people spearheading the campaign for a 708 Mental Health Board.

They’ve held a pair of round table discussions with community members and have been urging residents to take a survey.

A few of the agencies represented at the roundtable included the health department, Galesburg Rescue Mission, hospitals and the Knox County Jail.

“And they’re seeing people in their units because people were getting the preventative treatment they needed a head of time,” Rudolph says. “So, we’re providing mental health services but we’re providing them at the highest possible cost and doing it in the worst possible way. It’s easy to keep a person off crack if he’s locked up.”

Rudolph says that a number of those representatives at the roundtables expressed that lack of treatment for mentally ill individuals is a “huge problem.”

If it makes the agenda this would be the first County Board vote for five new members.

Surveys can be found at several local libraries, the Knox County Courthouse or online.

The survey can be accessed at

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