San Joaquin County To Submit Plan To Address Shortage of Psychiatrists
San Joaquin County will submit for state approval a $3.1 million plan to address a severe shortage of psychiatrists in the area and to recruit more Spanish- and Cambodian-speaking mental health workers, the Stockton Record reports.
The plan was developed over the past year and included meetings with nearly 500 community members.
In the past 18 months, the county has lost six of its 19 psychiatrists to the state prison system, according to the county Behavioral Health Services.
The county now employs 14.5 full-time psychiatrists, according to Behavioral Health Director Vic Singh. He said, "It's really competitive out there right now for psychiatrists."
The county's plan notes that the proposed construction of a 1,800-bed prison health care facility and re-entry for prison inmates in the county could increase the strain on mental health resources.
The plan would rely on funding from Proposition 63 (Johnson, Stockton Record, 3/25).
The proposition increased the tax on high-income Californians to fund mental health services (California Healthline, 3/12).
However, the funding is not certain because a proposition up for vote in the May 19 special election would redirect funding from the Mental Health Services Act to fund mental health programs for children (Stockton Record, 3/25).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.