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Posted by: Bethany on 02/17/2008 02:48 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 02/17/2008 05:23 PM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

Calaveras County Behavioral Health Services Seeking Community Input, Ideas ~ By Bethany Monk

San Andreas, C.A….The Calaveras County Department of Behavioral Health will hold three meetings in different parts of the county soon to get community feedback regarding ways to best support people in the county in need of mental health services....

.....In January of 2005, The Mental Health Services Act, MHSA, was enacted; this act—also referred to as “the millionaire tax,” according to Christa Thompson of the county’s behavioral health department—imposes a one percent tax on taxpayers who make more than one million dollars annually. The Calaveras County Department of Behavioral Health is one of the recipients of money resulting from this act.

Thompson, the department’s MHSA coordinator, said the tax money has allowed the department to hire community liaisons to provide mental health education and outreach to various populations in the community. It is also helping to fund further research and programs, she said; the department is holding these upcoming meetings to let citizens voice their concerns, and share their visions for mental health support services in the county.

Several programs have been successful helping certain “priority populations”—such as children in stressed families, children at risk for school failures, and children at-risk of juvenile involvement— in rural areas, according the department’s winter newsletter. One of the programs is the Triple P America Program, which the county will examine.

“Living in a rural community, doesn’t mean we have any fewer instances of depression,” or other mental illnesses, Thompson said, noting the isolation and limited outreach opportunities in small counties.

Members of the public are invited to attend the upcoming meeting, which will be held the following days and times: 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 21, at the CalWorks building in San Andreas; 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at the West Point Community Hall; and 6 to 8 p.m. on March 3 at the Avery Middle School Library in Avery.

For more information, call (209)754-2810.

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