County Receives Tax Revenue for Mental Health Funding
San Joaquin County officials this week announced that the county will receive $8 million from the state to fund new mental health programs in 2007-2008, the Stockton Record reports.
The state funding is the result of a 2004 state ballot measure that awards counties a share of a 1% tax on residents with annual incomes that exceed $1 million. San Joaquin County is using its share of funds to improve mental health services for citizens suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, according to the Record.
County Mental Health Director Bruce Hopperstad said the county will receive $2 million more than expected because the state underestimated the number of residents whose incomes qualify for the tax.
Kirsten Deichert, spokesperson for the state Department of Mental Health, said that counties must submit detailed applications to receive the revised amounts. The state originally expected to generate $733 million next year from the measure, but the revised estimate is more than $1 billion, according to Deichert.
The county used funding from the tax to create 12 new mental health programs that officials expect to begin this summer. The tax revenue cannot be used to fund existing mental health services.
The county will partner with local not-for-profit groups to increase access to mental health services among its black, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian communities. According to the Record, these groups are less likely to seek treatment due to cultural differences and lack of awareness (Kane, Stockton Record, 1/18).