A Senate file appropriation bill could benefit those with mental health needs in Clinton County.

Mental Health Coordinator Becky Eskildsen and Case Management Director Patti Robinson attended Wednesday’s meeting of the Clinton County Board of Supervisors to discuss this appropriation that could help people currently on the county’s mental health waiting list. A total of $10 million will be provided among counties with waiting lists. Eskildsen said currently only four counties in the state, including Clinton, have waiting lists. Once counties apply for the funds, the money will be pro-rated to the counties if approved.

The Clinton mental health department has not previously applied for this “risk pool” money due to the payback clause. Under the bill, any appropriated money not expended by a county by Nov. 1, 2012, will be reimbursed back to the “risk pool” in the property tax relief fund. A second wave of distribution from any remainder funds will be held in December 2012.

“I think it’s important we try to get those folks off of our waiting list in our county. They’ve been on waiting lists for two, three years,” Eskildsen said.

The county has approximately 78 people on the waiting list and will apply for $948,873. Eskildsen said she is worried about what to do next year when they do not have these funds, but feels they need to go forward to help those currently on the list.

The board authorized Chairman John Staszewski to sign the application once it is ready. The application must be received by July 15 and a decision will be made before the end of the month.

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