TC Commissioners Award Treatment Sales Tax Funds

Grants Will Assist Youth And Adults With Mental Health And Substance Abuse Issues. OLYMPIA – The Board of Thurston County Commissioners recently awarded financial grants from the Treatment Sales Tax (TST) fund to three community organizations located in Thurston County. Grants are focused on assisting youth or adults in the county with mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.  The funds are a result of a recent Request for Proposals.

To qualify for TST funds organizations must use evidenced-based practices and services that have consistently demonstrated their effectiveness in helping people with substance abuse or mental illness challenges achieve their goals. Effectiveness is established by people who have conducted rigorous studies and obtained similar outcomes.

Community Youth Services, a state certified Community Mental Health Agency, was awarded $22,133 to increase the number of homeless young adults  ages 18-24 who are chemically dependent, mentally ill or who are  coping with co-occuring disorders, secure housing.  Services will be provided using two evidence-based practices/programs: 

  • Motivational Interviewing: a collaborative, person‐centered approach to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.
  • Seven Challenges: a conversational technique used with youth who have substance abuse and/or mental health issues to assist them in making decisions and following through on them.

A second grant for $27,342 was awarded to Olympia School District’s state certified Student Assistance and Treatment Program to provide high-risk students with chemical dependency and mental health treatment and assist them with skills to deal with issues that may cause discipline problems, truancy, and negative attitudes towards school. The grant will also allow the Olympia School District to focus services on incarcerated youth at Touchstone treatment center. Services will be provided by using an evidenced based model:

  • Project SUCCESS: (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) designed for youth 12 -18 years of age, who are involved in the justice system and are assessed chemically dependent or having co-occuring disorders.

The final grant for $50,000 was awarded to Capital Recovery Center, a non-profit State licensed Community Mental Health Agency in Olympia. The funds will be used for adults 18 years and older who have substance abuse and mental health challenges as co-occuring disorders. The additional funds will allow the Center to provide group and one-on-one treatment sessions for chemical dependency and mental illness, using the evidenced based tool:

  • Integrated Treatment for Co-Occuring Disorders a Knowledge Informing Transformation (KIT) model. This allows participants to receive collaborative treatment from the same practioner or treatment team. Co-occuring disorders are treated in a stage-wise fashion with different services provided at different stages. Multiple formats for services are available including individual, group, self-help and family.

What is the Treatment Sales Tax?
In 2008, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners passed a 1/10 of one percent sales tax ordinance to increase funds available for mental health and chemical dependency services and therapeutic courts.  By enacting a “Treatment Sales Tax” (TST), the County has been able to enhance funding for diversion and intervention services that have helped contain the growth of the jail population and maintain, create or enhance services for individuals who are mentally ill, chemically dependent or who have co-occurring disorders.  For services offered in 2010 and 2011 the county was able to realize an $18.5 million return on investment.

All programs funded by the Treatment Sales Tax are involved in a comprehensive evaluation plan. Residents of Thurston County, asked to pay additional taxes, deserve documentation of the needs and benefits of the use of those tax dollars. Each individual program includes outcome measures, performance measures and targets, a schedule for evaluation and improvement and site visits by staff from the Commissioners’ office. Funding is for one year with no guarantee of renewal. Each year programs and funding recommendations are reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners with final decisions a result of the annual budget process.  For more information please check out the TST website ,