Board of Supervisors to Consider $1.4 Million Agreement for Behavioral Health Training Services

JEFF ANTENORE, Voice of OC

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has public comment at its May 2018 meeting.

Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is set to vote Nov. 5 on a $1.4 million, nearly three-year agreement for behavioral health training services for community members working in various fields throughout the county.

The Health Care Agency began developing a new program after receiving feedback at community engagement meetings held from August through September 2018. This feedback indicated a need for increased understanding of behavioral health issues in the general population.

The agreement is between the Health Care Agency and Western Youth Services, a Laguna Hills-based nonprofit organization providing mental health services to youth.

The goal of the program is to provide behavioral health training services, such as mental health first aid, across Orange County through online and in-person instruction.

The trainings seek to benefit both youth and adults with symptoms of mental health disorders and will be open to the general public. Trainings also will target non-clinical providers, as well as clinical ones.

The instruction will cover mental health first aid for youth and adults, recognizing symptoms of mental health disorders, working with diverse populations, and behavioral health. The nonprofit’s website will promote these trainings.

“Increased knowledge of overall behavioral health and access to treatment are crucial factors in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorder treatment,” said Annette Mugrditchian, chief of operations with the county’s Behavioral Health Services team.

The Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Nov. 5 in the Hall of Administration, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana.