Behavioral Health Funding Increase Approved

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Feb 1, 2016 (COUNTY NEWS SERVICE) An additional $6.3 million will be spent this fiscal year to expand existing contracts for County Behavioral Health Services programs.

The additional funding was approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday and will add seven Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams (which pair licensed clinicians with specially trained law enforcement officers), strengthen homeless outreach and treatment, increase programs serving youth on probation, and expand the countywide suicide prevention campaign It’s Up 2 Us, among other service increases.

County Behavioral Health Services serves more than 73,000 individuals of all ages. The $6.3 million for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015-16 represents an ongoing investment of an additional $12.4 million in the County behavioral health system. The funding sources include Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) revenue, and a combination of federal and state sources.

The additional funding brings the total MHSA investment this fiscal year to more than $140 million.

The mid-year funding increase follows the Board of Supervisors’ approval in September to invest $10 million for permanent, supportive housing to serve homeless residents.

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