Home » Marblehead Mental Health Task Force discusses budgeting $200,000 in ARPA funding.

Marblehead Mental Health Task Force discusses budgeting $200,000 in ARPA funding.

The town of Marblehead received $6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $200,000 will be delegated to help support the mental health illness of the community.

ARPA funding will be used strategically to assist the town to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic adhering to the use of non-recurring expenditures and one-time capital expenditures from highest to lowest priority.

The Marblehead Mental Health Task Force discussed potential ways to budget the one-time rescue plan including an urgent need request from the Marblehead Counseling Center to delegate $145,000 of the funding for more office space, a new roof, painting, and a one-time expense for recruitment.

According to ARPA guidelines, in all cases, no new programs hiring new staff or add-ons to existing programs will be undertaken and required an ongoing financial commitment unless there is a commitment made in advance of the expenditure of funds to guarantee these new programs. Staff or program add-ons will assist only for the duration of the three years for which ARPA funding is available.

Members of the Marblehead Mental Health Task Force disagreed with the formal rescue plan presented by the Counseling Center, adding that “the need is to get more people off the waiting list of needed counseling help.” They suggested making sure funds are being used to address the immediate need and a “Huge mental health crisis on an ongoing basis in Marblehead.”

The Board of Health oversees the dispersing of the $200,000. Board members asked the Mental Health Tasks Force how to budget those resources. The Mental Health Task Force did not come to an agreement and will continue to further discuss the budget.