OLYMPIA – Yesterday, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners (BoCC) approved more than $600,000 in Treatment Sales Tax (TST) funds, over a two-year period beginning July 1, 2021, for five community organizations to provide services in Thurston County. These awards will benefit Thurston County residents with mental health or substance use issues.
The county received proposals for TST funding from community service providers. County subject matter experts and members of the TST Advisory Committee, a group of Thurston County residents appointed by the BoCC to make recommendations regarding the allocation of TST funds, reviewed the proposals and made a recommendation the BoCC.
“Our deepest thanks go to the members of the TST Advisory Committee and staff, for their hours of reviewing and researching applicants. Their work helps ensure the programs who will best serve the community and aid the most vulnerable people are funded. Mental health and substance abuse programs are extremely important, as is the related parenting program to help families that we had the opportunity to support. I am proud of the impact these TST funds will have in our community,” says Commission Chair Tye Menser.
To qualify for TST funds, organizations must use evidence-based or promising practices demonstrating consistent and effective help for people with substance abuse or mental health challenges achieve their goals.
Programs funded include:
- Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties ($100,000 per year for 2 years): Provide treatment to sexual abuse survivors through the Monarch Children's Justice and Advocacy Center.
- Family Support Center of South Sound ($89,524 per year for 2 years): Provide case management and support for families with behavioral health needs at Pear Blossom Place Shelter.
- Northwest Resources ($30,000 per year for 2 years): Develop integrated medical care for individuals involved in behavioral health treatment.
- Family Education and Support Services ($50,000 per year for 2 years): Provide classes and peer support to parents with behavioral health needs.
- YWCA of Olympia ($46,180 per year for 2 years): Provide navigation, prosocial opportunities, and other support to youth with behavioral health needs in its Youth Council program.
What is the Treatment Sales Tax?
Washington State law allows counties to collect a 1/10 of 1% sales tax to fund enhanced and expanded substance use and mental health treatment services, as well as treatment courts. Thurston County has collected this tax since 2009.
The Treatment Sales Tax (TST) is an important local funding stream that works alongside federal and state funding, such as Medicaid, to meet mental health and substance use needs in Thurston County. By expanding access to behavioral health treatment, TST-funded programs also reduce costs related to justice system involvement, emergency room use, health care, and public assistance.