Fresno County Mental Health Board Approves Final Draft of Plan for Use of Proposition 63 Funds
The Fresno County Mental Health Board on Monday approved the final draft of a 230-page plan for using the county's portion of mental health funding from Proposition 63, the Fresno Bee reports. The county could receive nearly $4 million this year through Proposition 63, which state voters passed in November 2004, increasing the state income tax by 1% for state residents whose annual incomes exceed $1 million to fund mental health services.
The plan calls for changes to the county's mental health system to improve family support services and increase funding to complete a housing grant. At a two-hour public hearing on the plan, county residents generally gave it "good grades for improving mental health programs for adults, including a drop-in center manned by peers," the Bee reports. However, board members question the lack of programs to improve diagnostic and treatment services for school-age children. County officials said a revised version of the plan addressed that concern.
The county Board of Supervisors was scheduled to review the plan on Tuesday and consider four recommendations for changes from the mental health board, including the creation of a "user friendly" guide for future drafts.
The county will send the document to the state, which will have 90 days to approve or deny all parts of the plan or individual provisions in it (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 9/27).
The final draft of the plan "could mean a great deal of help to people suffering from serious cases of illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and clinical depression," a Bee editorial states. According to the Bee, "[o]ne of the best parts of this planning process has been the requirement that the county listen to the families of the mentally ill and consumers of mental health services while considering how the money should be spent."
Such a connection is important if the county wants to offer "effective and progressive" treatments, the editorial states, adding that mental health treatment in the county "has long been underfunded, and it's important that the needs in this document be urgently addressed" (Fresno Bee, 9/28).
In related news, KPBS' "KPBS News" on Tuesday reported on San Diego County's proposed spending plan for funds from Proposition 63. The segment includes comments from Piedad Garcia, director of systems of care for the county's Adult/Older Adult Mental Health Services program (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 9/27). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.