State funds $200K for mental and behavioral health |

State funds $200K for mental and behavioral health

Nearly every week people can read in the police blotter about Nevada County residents yelling amongst traffic, at times endangering themselves and others.

Tuesday, organizations providing mental and behavioral health support for Nevada County residents got more than $212,000 in funding from the state to reduce those incidents.

The Nevada County Behavioral Health Department received additional funding for two programs, $24,200 for adult, one-on-one peer counseling and $188,002 for wraparound and therapeutic behavior services for at-risk children and youth.

The funding comes from the state Mental Health Services Act and will go toward organizations contracted by the county, SPIRIT Mental Health Peer Empowerment Center for providing peer counseling services and Victor Community Support Services for youth therapeutic behavior services.

According to the Victor Community Support Services amended contract, the services are aimed at the most vulnerable juvenile populations, including the “seriously emotionally disturbed or seriously mentally ill,” and those “at risk of psychiatric hospitalization, homelessness, academically failing or special education students within the program.”


The additional funding will enable the program to add 15 additional slots for juveniles in the program, bringing the available spots to 65 total. The services would also include coordinated care plans collaborating with criminal justice, public health, substance abuse providers and other agencies to provide the wraparound support for other services like drug rehabilitation and psychiatric evaluations.

“This amendment addresses the real life needs of juveniles with mental illness, increases consumer and family participation, and advances a coordinated care structure to help reduce the need for out-of-home placements,” Nevada County Behavioral Health Director Phebe Bell states in a report.

The new funding will allow SPIRIT Mental Health Peer Empowerment Center to continue providing individual peer counseling on a drop-in basis for people unwilling or unable to access traditional services. They will also now be able to provide increased case management and guarantee that participants receive two one-on-one sessions per month. The program also offers themed group support sessions, including Men’s Group, Women’s Group and LGBTQ group, administered by peers with the lived experiences.

“People who want to receive mental health peer counseling from others who may have had the same challenges themselves can go and drop in anytime,” Bell said. “The other contract is to increase the number of families we can serve with some of our more intensive services we have. Both are great additions to the services at the Behavioral Health department.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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