MENTAL HEALTH REFORM GETS OK COUNTY SUPPORTS $186 MILLION PLAN.Byline: TROY ANDERSON Staff Writer
In its first plan for how to spend revenue from a voter-approved state income tax on millionaires, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $186 million plan to overhaul Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County's mental health system.
More than 18,000 adults and children are expected to receive expanded mental health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract beginning this fiscal year, and officials say the extra money will help get thousands of mentally ill transients off the streets.
``This is very huge,'' said Marvin Southard, director of the county's Department of Mental Health. ``This is really revolutionary.
``This is the first step in what will be a major change in the way the mental health system operates. It will be a first step in making it more customer-friendly, providing what people need rather than narrow mental health services.''
The plan helps restore some of the services cut since the early 1990s, when budget woes forced the state to close psychiatric hospitals psychiatric hospital
A hospital for the care and treatment of patients affected with acute or chronic mental illness. Also called mental hospital. and the county to close several of its mental-health clinics.
The newly approved plan calls for hiring 260 mental health workers and building a psychiatric urgent-care facility at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is a hospital located in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. The hospital was founded on October 27, 1920, and is funded by Los Angeles County . in Sylmar.
``What we are trying to do is create a psychiatric urgent care facility where people who are in a psychiatric crisis, but probably won't get admitted to the emergency room, can go to get stabilized,'' Southard said.
``Rather than have them wait in the ER, which isn't necessarily a good place to be if they are in a mental health crisis, (this would) create an alternative place for them.''
Money for the plan comes from Proposition 63, passed by voters statewide in 2004 to help fund services for people with severe mental illness through a 1 percent tax on incomes of more than $1 million.
Southard said the initial round of funding will go to agencies that help the homeless on Skid Row skid row
a run-down area frequented by alcoholics. [Am. Culture: Misc.]
See : Alcoholism
district of down-and-outs and bums. [Am. Usage: Brewer Dictionary, 1008]
See : Failure and throughout the county, and includes $11.6 million for a trust fund to develop permanent housing for people with psychiatric disabilities.
That money will augment $100 million the supervisors recently designated and the $50 million Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. has promised to help house the homeless. < Southard also said some of the $2.8 billion targeted for housing in a $37 billion state bond package set to appear on the November ballot could be used for homeless housing.
``The most important thing, from our perspective, is creating avenues for people to get off the streets,'' said Orlando Ward Orlando Ward (born in Macon, Missouri, November 41891- died Denver, Colorado February 41972) was a career United States Army Officer. During World War II, as a Major General, he commanded the U.S. 1st Armored Division during Operation Torch (North Africa). , spokesman for the Midnight Mission on Skid Row.
``We know from the physical exposure of people on the streets, particularly those suffering from untreated mental illness, we know their situation will not get better unless we find treatment for them.''
The funds will also be used to start and expand programs for people with schizophrenia schizophrenia (skĭt'səfrē`nēə), group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. , bipolar disorder bipolar disorder, formerly manic-depressive disorder or manic-depression, severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depression. , major depression and other serious conditions.
County programs are expected to include around-the-clock counseling and support, rent subsidies, resources for finding permanent, affordable housing, treatment for alcohol and drug problems, and drop-in centers.
It also will include counseling for teens leaving foster care, counseling for families with children who have severe emotional disorders emotional disorder
An emotional illness.
emotional disorder Emotional disability Psychiatry Behavior, emotional, and/or social impairment exhibited by a child or adolescent that consequently disrupts the child's or , and transitional support for formerly homeless people.
The funds will also be used to set up more than a dozen transitional resource centers throughout the county, including in North Hills, Pasadena and Long Beach.
The facilities will help foster youth who have run away from the system or who have been emancipated e·man·ci·pate
tr.v. e·man·ci·pat·ed, e·man·ci·pat·ing, e·man·ci·pates
1. To free from bondage, oppression, or restraint; liberate.
2. at age 18 get housing, education and mental health services.