Orange County Facility for Mentally Ill Expected to Receive Temporary Funding to Stay Open
The not-for-profit Orange County Friendship Center, a "revolutionary" facility that provides "tailored treatment" programs for mentally ill patients, will likely remain open through June with the help of temporary funding from the county, the Orange County Register reports. The behavioral health services division of the county's Health Care Agency plans to give $66,000 to the Garden Grove-based center, which opened four years ago and provides services for about 400 patients. Mental health officials "praised" the facility for offering a comprehensive program, including medical and psychiatric care, job training and support-group services, "all in one place." However, citing a $2.5 million deficit, officials at Universal Care, the HMO that operates the center, appeared ready to close the facility late last year. But Universal Care officials decided to keep the center open after the county indicated that it might provide some funding. "Shutting down the program would have meant that many of these individuals would be immediately out on the streets," Doug Barton, director of the county's behavioral health services division, said. The county Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the funds at a Feb. 5 meeting (Luna, Orange County Register, 1/29).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.