Matt Holzmann, vice chair for Orange County’s Mental Health Board, talks about the unique opportunity facing public officials in Orange County to create a national funding and programming model for mental health programming at every spectrum, from those facing an immediate crisis, to those in need of permanent supportive housing.
The proposed mental health center is seen by advocates and officials as a major step toward addressing a severe shortage of mental health service options in Orange County. There was no word Tuesday on when services will start at the property.
During this Mental Illness Awareness Week, Matt Holzmann writes that we should all see ourselves as first responders when it comes to mental health, warning we can’t just leave public safety officers alone in dealing with mentally ill in our communities. Instead, Holzmann notes that education and early intervention are key to successful outcomes.
A contract dispute between Magellan Healthcare and CalOptima, the county’s health plan for low-income and elderly residents, may have left some of CalOptima’s 710,000 patients without mental health care when, for nine days in July, Magellan refused to process Medi-Cal payment claims.
The county Board of Supervisors this week approved plans to open a facility in Garden Grove that will treat patients, including children, who are experiencing mental health crisis. Scheduled to open in December, the facility will address the county’s acute shortage of psychiatric beds.
The state may shutter a 114-acre property that currently houses developmentally disabled adults. Homeless advocates, and a state senator, say the property should be re-purposed as a center for homeless people and others who need temporary housing and mental health services.