Mental Health Department Prepares for Changes
The Kern County Mental Health Department on Monday outlined how it will restructure the agency to provide more integrated care for mental illness and substance abuse treatment, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
Voters in 2004 passed Proposition 63 to fund mental health care. The measure increased the state income tax by 1% on residents who earn more than $1 million annually.
The proposition has allowed the department to be more flexible in developing care regimens and has provided the department with resources necessary to evaluate the mental health care system, according to Judy Newman, managed care administrator for the Mental Health Department.
Money from the proposition also goes toward county-run mental health services.
Restructuring the department likely will take two to three years, according to Mental Health Administrator Brad Cloud. When it is completed, the department will serve as a "one-stop shop for answers" regarding mental health care, the Californian reports (Hagedorn, Bakersfield Californian, 6/20).