Submitted by John Simpson.
Jason Whalen, a candidate for Pierce County Council (District 6), is prepared to address the growing Covid – 19 driven need for increased mental and behavioral health services to those in need.
“I strongly support increasing mental and behavioral health services … and my record proves my commitment – and my ability – to produce the results we need,” he wrote on his election website, whalenforcouncil.com.
Unlike his opponent, his record speaks of his commitment to addressing this issue.
In 2015 the Lakewood City Council authorized the formation of a Behavioral Health Contact Team, making Lakewood the first city in the state to partner one of its police officers with a mental health professional.
As Lakewood’s deputy mayor, Whalen played a key role in the formation and funding of this team.
“Given the opportunity to establish access during a critical time, the presence of mental health professionals opens the door for long-term mental health care,” he continued.
Since then, the Behavioral Health Contact Team has helped hundreds of people with mental health issues to receive streamlined mental health and medical care, along with help in finding housing and solutions to personal needs.
Lakewood’s program has been so successful that the City Council is poised to add an additional mental health professional to the contact team over the next biennium.
As your Pierce County Councilmember, Whalen will work to increase access to mental and behavioral care by funding mental health services, by implementing needed reforms dedicated to mental health and substance abuse issues among the homeless, and by providing law enforcement with the proper resources to address mental health and substance abuse issues.
“I am prepared to serve Pierce County by leading the way on practical solutions to solve this challenge,” he concluded.
Working directly with Jason, I know well his commitment to providing access to behavioral health services.
This is one of the many reasons I support his election to the Pierce County Council.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.