Santa Clara County is investing millions in mental health programs and workers to help address the ongoing crisis.
At its meeting Tuesday, the oversight board unanimously approved about $9.5 million to continue several mental health programs, such as residential treatment services. Local officials also voted to invest more than $14 million to create 38 full-time jobs and support mental health programs for families, seniors, LGBTQ residents and more.
“This is an effort to really step up our emergency and mental health response,” county administrator Jeff Smith told the San Jose Spotlight. , I’ve been trying to do this.”
The $9.5 million will continue the various programs launched last October with a $4.6 million investment. Those programs include his $2.3 million donated to Camp Recovery Center, an addiction treatment center based in Scotts Valley, which provides drug use home treatment services for adolescents. . Tuesday’s vote added about $300,000 to the deal.
The county is also contributing approximately $930,000 to A&A Health Services, a mental health service provider in San Pablo, for 24/7 home care services.
Additionally, county officials are contributing $1.6 million to help keep people with mental health problems from becoming homeless. They also invest in recruitment and retention efforts.
The investment comes as the county continues to struggle with its ongoing mental health and substance use crisis. Local authorities declared a mental health emergency in Santa Clara County last January, marking a record rise in suicides and drug overdoses, a shortage of beds in treatment facilities, and the “last minute” of people in need of treatment. He cited the abuse of prisons as a “means.” process. Superintendents Susan Ellenberg and Otto Lee lashed out at the county last summer for failing to address these needs.
The latest proposed investment could help strengthen existing programs and allow the county to further expand its resources, officials said.
“These investments will enable us to help more people connect to the resources and services they need, when they need them most,” Ellenberg told San José Spotlight. “Santa Clara County is serious about addressing this public health crisis and will continue to maximize state funding to add treatment beds at every level.”
Local officials said the county had made some progress over the past year. In February, the county began an assisted outpatient treatment program known as Laura’s Law and has seen early progress. It also introduced 988, a hotline for suicide and mental health crises. Some people are still skeptical of the program’s effectiveness, citing labor shortages, long hold times, and police-only responses to severe mental health crises.
While the programs being funded provide immediate services, Santa Clara County continues to work on building facilities, including a long-term residential treatment facility at 650 S. Bascom Ave.
“The need is here, so find a space wherever you are and serve people,” Lee told San José Spotlight.
With the $14 million in funding, officials also hope to expand the Santa Clara County workforce and support efforts to address the mental health crisis. Mental health worker shortages are rampant in California as agencies across the state struggle to meet demand for services.
The new funding will add 12 mental health peer support workers, 10 mental health community workers, 5 psychiatric social workers and other administrative positions, according to the county. Workers support many programs, including expanding 988 hotlines and intervention teams.
“We expect to create positions, but it’s going to be a question of filling them,” Smith said. I will do everything I can for you.”
Contact Tran Nguyen: [email protected] or follow @nguyenttrann on Twitter.