Sacramento County Steering Committee Proposes Mental Health Programs
Sacramento County should use funds from Proposition 63 to fund six new mental health programs that would serve hundreds more people and possibly create permanent housing for people with mental illnesses, according to a report released Monday by the county steering committee, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The report proposes using $8.2 million to expand mental health services to prevent homelessness or incarceration of people with mental illnesses. According to the report, Asians and Pacific Islanders tend to receive the least amount of mental health support because of cultural barriers. Almost 93% of Asian Americans had unmet mental health needs, compared with 67% of whites, 73% of Latinos and 23% of blacks.
The report recommends using $2.2 million to fund a program to find permanent housing with treatment facilities for 125 people with mental illnesses annually.
In addition, the committee proposed county funding for psychiatric care for the elderly, wellness centers and coordinated outreach programs for Asians and Pacific Islanders. The report included a proposal to create a community response team for public comment (Lin/Jahn, Sacramento Bee, 11/1).
In related news, the Oakland Tribune looked at efforts by Alameda County and the Berkeley-Albany mental health department to create a plan for the use of Proposition 63 funds.
According to the Tribune, both agencies have completed months of investigation of mental health services, providers and programs. After the public hearings, the agencies expect to submit a proposed program list to the state and hope to launch new services by the summer of 2006 (Brand, Oakland Tribune, 10/29).