Fresno County Mental Health Jobs Cut
Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-1 to eliminate 75 positions in the county Department of Behavioral Health, the Fresno Bee reports. The department faces a $5 million budget deficit.
Most of the cuts will be in the department's intensive services division, including at an emergency treatment center, a center to help people with serious mental health disorders and a short-term rehabilitation system. The remaining cuts will be at rural clinics.
Positions being eliminated include vocational nurses, licensed psychiatric technicians, mental health nurses, clinicians and office workers. Fifty-seven of the positions are already vacant and county personnel officials said they will work with the eighteen affected employees to help them find other county jobs.
Supervisor Susan Anderson said that the number of staff in some programs is being reduced to the minimum level required by the state and that the cuts do not mean programs will close (Ginis, Fresno Bee, 3/29).
"Since there has not yet been a public explanation of who was responsible for allowing" the budget deficit at the behavioral health department "to develop, it's doubtful" the county Board of Supervisors "has thoroughly analyzed what happened or has taken adequate steps to keep it from happening again," a Bee editorial states. The Bee adds, the county is "once again ... demonstrating its inability to manage this region's mental health needs in a professional manner, lurching from crisis to crisis, patching over one problem by creating another" (Fresno Bee, 3/31).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.