EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – On February 28, the Evansville City Council passed F-2022-02 Amended, and it passed 8-0. Mayor Winnecke made a statement about the ordinance.

“One such area, where we have substantial need, is in the area of mental health. It’s estimated that nearly half of the 60 million adults and children living with mental health conditions in the United States go without treatment. That’s why we propose investing some of our $64.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act with Southwest Behavioral Health, one of the city’s leading mental health providers, to renovate two spaces in order to create badly needed mental health services.” said Mayor Winnecke.

Mayor Winnecke mentioned plans for an adult residential treatment center that would be used for adults coming out of hospitalization and crises. The building will only be used for short-term treatment, which would last for 28 to 35 days.

The next thing Mayor Winnecke mentioned was a new neurodevelopmental psychiatry specialty center for children, adolescents, and families going through mental health issues. It will specialize in dual diagnoses and give people a local option in seeking help.

Mayor Winnecke discussed investing in the new Evansville Diversion Center. The center is through United caring services and will be open for 23 hours and can provide six beds. “This facility is designed to assist people experiencing substance use and/or a co-occurring mental health crisis.” said Mayor Winnecke. “The Diversion Center will provide front-line intervention in order to divert people away from unnecessary emergency department, emergency medical services, or the criminal justice system use toward the help, support, and recovery they need.”

Mayor Winnecke spoke on investments toward The Easterseals Rehabilitation Center. “An investment in Easterseals will expand the organization’s psychology testing and counseling capacity by four times.” Said Mayor Winnecke. More investments include an expansion for SWIRCA & More’s building and more affordable housing for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Mayor Winnecke talked about a collaboration with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership on Talent 2025, which is a regional initiative to increase the population and improve Evansville’s talent base.

“We want our workforce to be prepared for jobs and careers of the future. We want a resilient economy that can bounce back after routine downturns, or a major crisis like COVID-19. We want to ensure equitable opportunity for every family regardless of race, history or circumstance. We have to improve quality of place for a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.” Mayor Winnecke said in a statement.