Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Reduces Funding for Mental Health Services
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has eliminated five staff positions and reduced some service contracts from the county Mental Health Services Board to reduce the board's budget by $1.6 million for fiscal year 2004-2005, the Contra Costa Times reports. The move is the "final act" in the county Health Services Department's "sorrowful budget drama," according to the Times. Department CFO Pat Godley said the department's budget was reduced by $24 million, or about 12%, for FY 2004-2005.
The Times reports that the funding reductions could affect the mental health board's contribution to the Mental Health Mobile Response Team, a service that provides house calls for children experiencing mental health emergencies.
Ken Berrick -- executive director of San Leandro-based Seneca Center, which provides the MHRT services -- said that the program often makes higher-cost hospital-based treatment or intervention by law enforcement officials unnecessary, according to the Times.
Donna Wigand, executive director of county MHSB, said the county had contributed $150,000 to the program. Wigand said that funding for county MHSB was reduced by about $3 million in FY 2003-2004 (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 9/23).