California Healthline Highlights Mental Health Funding Developments in Santa Clara, Riverside Counties
Officials in Santa Clara and Riverside counties this week will consider proposals for funds from Proposition 63, which state voters approved in November 2004 to provide funds for mental health services. Summaries appear below.
The Santa Clara County Mental Health Department on Tuesday will ask the county Board of Supervisors to approve a $39-million, three-year spending plan for Proposition 63 funds, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The spending plan would focus on nine at-risk populations:
- Infants up to five years old who are at high risk because of family situations;
- Children in the juvenile justice system, particularly Latinos, blacks and American Indians;
- Children in foster care, with a focus on Latinos and blacks;
- Emotionally disturbed children, with a focus on Latinos and Asians;
- Those between the ages of 16 and 25 who graduated from special education or mental health programs but who still have significant mental health problems;
- County residents with first-time episodes of serious mental health problems;
- Mentally ill homeless who frequently are jailed and visit hospital emergency departments;
- Adults with serious mental illnesses who have never received treatment; and
- Adults older than age 60 whose mental illness has been intensified by aging, isolation or trauma from war or natural disaster.
Representatives from the Desert Healthcare District, the Riverside County Department of Mental Health and other social service organizations on Friday met to discuss additional uses for Proposition 63 funds, the Desert Sun reports. Riverside County will receive about $16.7 million each year for three years from the initiative.
An existing spending plan includes outreach and crisis programs that provide immediate and follow-up care for low-income, mentally ill residents and the establishment of three recovery centers for people ages 16 to 25. The plan also would create a mobile outreach team to gauge how older adults manage their mental illnesses.
Additional suggestions discussed Friday include creating a 72-hour in-patient facility for county residents who have a crisis and voluntarily commit themselves and addressing the shortage of mental health workers in the Coachella Valley.
A series of public meetings will be held this week to discuss the suggestions (McCain, Desert Sun, 12/10).