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 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's mental health programs received a $22 million boost in Governor Wilson's budget proposal yesterday. Programs to detect emotional problems and integrate mental health services for children will be expanded in the upcoming fiscal year.
 "This is a great boost to our children's programs," said William Mayer, M.D., director of the California Department of Mental Health. "We are excited to be able to address emotional problems in more young Californians early on and prevent those problems from becoming major." Early Intervention
 Minor emotional difficulties and school adjustment problems can impair a child's development and learning capacity. School-based early mental health intervention services identify those problems before they become major impediments.
 The Governor's proposal adds $10 million to expand early intervention services for California's kindergarteners through third graders, bringing the total funding to $30 million by July 1993.
 The program was established by AB 1650 (Chapter 757, Statutes of 1991) and is modeled on the Primary Intervention Program. Children's System of Care
 The systems of care project integrates mental health, health and social services, juvenile justice and education to deliver children's mental health services in the least restrictive environment. The goal is to keep children at home, in school and out of the juvenile justice system. By involving the family and community services, significant costs for out of home placement, special education and incarceration can be avoided.
 The Governor proposes $2 million to expand the system of care to additional counties, bringing the program total to $7.3 million.
 The program was established by AB 377 (Chapter 1361, Statutes of 1987) and is modeled on the Ventura County project. Realignment and the Budget
 Until this year, mental health services could not be guaranteed state General Fund support. due to realignment legislation passed in 1991, local programs are no longer subject to the General Fund budget process but are funded instead through sales taxes. Without this historically stable funding source, community mental health programs would have to be slashed drastically to help balance the budget.
 Realignment also gives each county the flexibility to serve the needs of its mentally ill population. Other Budget Highlights
 Also included in the Department of Mental Health's proposed budget:
 -- An Additional $2.7 million for the Conditional Release Program (CONREP) which provides transitional community treatment for judicially committed persons released from state hospitals.
 -- An increase of $6.2 million for state hospital operating expenses and workers' compensation costs that directly affect patient services.
 -- A net increase of $615,000 for 28 beds serving judicially committed patients in state hospitals. Also increases level of care staff by 24.
 -- An increase of $416,000 to provide acute psychiatric services to Medi-Cal patients in Sacramento County, pursuant to Chapter 1000, Statutes of 1991.
 -0- 1/10/92
 /CONTACT: Lauren Wonder of California Department of Mental Health, 916-654-2309/ CO: California Department of Mental Health ST: California IN: HEA SU:

DG -- SF013 -- 8848 01/10/92 20:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 10, 1992

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