County Plans Mental Health Services Expansion
Orange County will receive $25 million on Wednesday in Proposition 63 funds for mental health programs, the Orange County Register reports. Proposition 63, which voters approved in 2004, increased the state income tax by 1% on residents whose annual incomes exceed $1 million to fund mental health care.
The funding increases the county's mental health budget by 15% to about $175 million. The money will be used for the county's three-year mental health care plan, which includes:
- Providing more age-targeted services for children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens;
- Expanding care efforts to the Latino and Vietnamese communities; and
- Hiring an unspecified number of mental health experts to assist police officers responding to calls involving people with mental health problems.
The county periodically will issue reports to the state on the effects of the increased funding.
According to Mark Refowitz, the county deputy agency director for mental health services, the expansion is the first of a four-part plan that includes mental illness prevention and early detection, financial improvements at the mental health department, education, and technology (Liddane, Orange County Register, 6/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.