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Dunn seeks to direct BSK funding to bolster substance abuse prevention in youth

Summary

Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn on Tuesday introduced a motion that would direct the King County Executive to address substance use and mental health supports more specifically in the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) levy implementation plan.

Story

Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn on Tuesday introduced a motion that would direct the King County Executive to address substance use and mental health supports more specifically in the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) levy implementation plan. 

“This is an opportunity to prioritize the wellness of the next generation,” Dunn said. “For far too long, mental health and substance use disorders in young people have gone under-treated, and these problems have concerningly worsened during the pandemic. This direction to the BSK levy implementation plan will allow us to place preventative measures that give kids their best shot at a successful, healthy future.”

The motion would act as companion legislation to the BSK levy ordinance approved by the Council today. Co-sponsored by Councilmembers Rod Dembowski and Kathy Lambert, the legislation would require that the BSK implementation plan identify strategies related to prevention, outreach, and early intervention to address mental health and substance use disorders in children and youth ages five or older, suggesting a targeted awareness campaign about the risks of substance abuse.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions and increased substance use associated with COVID-19. According to the linked study, young adults age 18-24 experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, more substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation compared to other age groups.

The proposed motion is being dual referred to the Regional Policy Committee and the Committee of the Whole before a final vote by the full King County Council. The BSK levy implementation plan impacted by this legislation will transmitted by the Executive to Council by July 31st, where it will need approval by RPC and then full Council. King County voters will vote on the approved BSK levy on the August 2021 Primary Election ballot.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov