Patient Screening Standards Affect Pleasant Hill Rehabilitation Center
Crestwood Healing Center, an unlocked mental health treatment facility that opened in October in Pleasant Hill, is "struggling to fill its beds," with only 16 of its 80 beds in use, the Contra Costa Times reports (Lyons, Contra Costa Times, 3/13). The opening of the Crestwood Healing Center was delayed after the Pleasant Hill City Council in September voted 3-1 to tighten the conditions under which it approved the opening of the treatment center. The city council voted in July to allow Crestwood Behavioral Health to open a 53,000-square-foot facility. Crestwood agreed to limit passes out of the center to between 10 a.m. and nightfall, assign a police officer to patrol the area and not admit sex offenders or people with a history of violence (California Healthline, 10/20). Although the facility had planned to be fully operational by June, "that target date is clouded" by the screening standards, which also require Contra Costa County to screen prospective facility residents for alcohol or drug abuse before they are referred to Crestwood. The county contracts with Crestwood Behavioral Health to provide mental health treatment to some patients at the Pleasant Hill facility. To date, only the Mental Rehabilitation Center, the first of three treatment programs at the facility, has opened, and 16 of that program's 40 beds remain open. The other two programs, a 16-bed residential treatment facility and a 24-bed adult residential facility, will open when the first is fully staffed. While mental health advocates said that the limits are "illegal and discriminatory," residents of the area say they are necessary safeguards, the Times reports. Advocates also are concerned that Crestwood will close the facility if it does not reach full occupancy, leaving some people with mental illnesses without treatment options. In Contra Costa County, there currently are only 28 other beds available to treat people with mental illnesses, none of which offer long-term residential care. Crestwood spokesperson Larry Kamer said the problem is a "contractual issue," adding, "We're confident we can work it out" (Contra Costa Times, 3/13).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.