Fresno County Mental Health Services Face Changes
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-1 to reduce mental health services over the next three years, the Fresno Bee reports. The changes are intended to address the county Department of Behavioral Health's budget deficit, which has been estimated at as much as $15 million.
Supervisor Henry Perea has requested a grand jury investigation of department operations. An audit to determine what contributed to the budget problems over the past seven years also is underway.
The plan calls for:
- Reducing hours at clinics in Firebaugh, the Californian in downtown Fresno, west Fresno, Huron, Mendota, Pinedale, Reedley, and Sanger;
- Eliminating 43 full-time staff positions in the county crisis programs and transitional living centers;
- Hiring 12 employees to cover shifts when other personnel are unavailable;
- Outsourcing care for about 200 hospitalized people to private companies; and
- Eliminating temporary employee positions.
In addition, the plan will replace an existing support group program with a new one that is expected to be funded by Proposition 63. State voters approved the proposition in 2004 to fund mental health services.
Supervisors did not vote on a proposal to reduce mental health services to inmates at the county jail (Ginis, Fresno Bee, 3/1). 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.