VENTURA COUNTY: Mental Health Advocates to Crusade Against Fund Transfer
Advocates for the mentally ill in Ventura County yesterday said they will launch a campaign to "abolish the long-standing practice of transferring money earmarked for mental health services to other county budgets," the Los Angeles Times reports. Ed Nani, president of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Ventura County, said county Auditor-Controller Thomas Mahon confirmed in a meeting yesterday that the county may shift up to 10% of a special mental health budget to other health and social services departments. Mahon said over the past six years, some $4 million has been shifted. Lou Matthews, the group's founding president, said, "It's morally and ethically wrong to take money from the mentally ill. The practice should be stopped. They're taking away from the most disenfranchised of our population. People who can't fight for themselves. It's easy to do, but it's wrong." Nami added, "It doesn't matter where the money goes, the practice just needs to be stopped." The group said it will lobby county supervisors to end the practice and "will try to halt the $1.5 million in mental health funds projected to be transferred this fiscal year" (Johnson, 3/19).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.