Williamson County Uses $21.8 Million in Federal Mental Health Aid Funds


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS (KXAN) — Williamson County leaders wish to pour practically $22 million in leftover federal pandemic funds into the county’s psychological well being companies.

The county commissioners authorized the allocation of the fund at an August assembly of commissioners.

There are two funds that the county commissioners come from for the packages. Municipalities can use the funds from the CARES Act, which expires on the finish of the 12 months, for points associated to the pandemic.

The American Restoration Funds are secondary points with an extended shelf life.

Williamson County has plans to create a psychological well being drop-off heart for individuals getting into the justice system with psychological well being points. The objective is to maintain individuals out of the jail system who could not should be there.

The opposite main focus is offering psychological well being assist to youngsters. Williamson County has a long-standing partnership with Bluebonnet Trails and plans to take a position greater than $8 million to fund a 16-bed facility for youth.

Bluebonnet’s present facility in Spherical Rock will likely be upgraded with the wing. Government Director, Andrea Richardson, says the venue will serve youngsters they couldn’t earlier than.

“Now we have a boy we had been feverishly looking for a mattress for,” mentioned Andrea Richardson. “He’s 12 years outdated and there was no place that might give him respite.”

Andrea says the 12-year-old autistic boy was going via a psychological well being disaster throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His situation escalated with out a connection to care and he was ultimately hospitalized.

“When he obtained residence, he turned stressed and in some circumstances violent,” Richardson mentioned.

That is one thing Richardson desires to spare some mother and father.

With greater than $8 million in federal assist {dollars}, Bluebonnet will be capable to construct and preserve the respite heart.

About $5 million of the cash will come from the county’s CARES funds and $16.8 million will come from the ARPA funds.

After this funding, the county nonetheless has greater than $15 million in leftover funds from the CARES Act.

“I feel we’ve seen lots of native governments speeding to spend that cash,” mentioned Williamson County treasurer Scott Heselmeyer. “Quite a lot of them thought the pandemic would finish 9 to 10 months in the past, however what we’re seeing is that’s not the case.”

There’s a 3rd tier and that features investing $4.5 million in a 24-bed hospital at Georgetown Rock Springs Hospital for these with psychological sickness or substance abuse issues. This cash will come from the ARPA funds because the funding is ongoing and won’t be accomplished by the top of the 12 months.

Nevertheless, Bluebonnet must construct its respite wing at its Spherical Rock facility by the top of the 12 months as these funds fall below CARES, which expires on the finish of the 12 months. | Williamson County Makes use of $21.8 Million in Federal Psychological Well being Help Funds


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