Mental health plan calls for team approach – copy of plan included |

Mental health plan calls for team approach – copy of plan included

The plan to spend $1 million in new funding for Nevada County mental health services calls for a team approach to deal with patients.

The plan is now available for review and public comment on the county’s Web site at

The county’s proposal would spend monies allocated to counties through Prop. 63, the Mental Health Services Act passed by state voters in 2004. The act will tax millionaires for county mental health services across California.

Many involved in the county’s mental health arena backed the proposition, along with Nick and Amanda Wilcox, whose daughter was killed by a mentally ill man in 2001.

The county’s proposal to spend its allocation calls for:

• A team concept to deal with people in crisis.

• No-cost counseling from mental health patient peers.

• A courthouse advocate for patients and their families.

• Counselors to help the county jail, area police officers and Spanish-speaking people deal with patient situations.

Plan facilitator Joan Buffington said the public has 30 days to respond to the 200-page plan, either to herself or Doug Bond, the project manager.

“We really want people’s input and we’re required to by law anyway,” Buffington said. “They won’t be shined on.”

In addition, there will be a public meeting to discuss the issue from noon to 2 p.m., Friday, March 17 at the Madelyn Helling Library Conference room in Nevada City.

Buffington said written comments can be e-mailed to her or Bond at these addresses:, or

Once the draft proposal is finalized, the county board of supervisors and Department of Behavioral Health Director Robert Erickson will have to approve it. It will then be sent to the State Department of Mental Health for final approval, which could take three months, Buffington said.

For more information, call Buffington a 913-6446 or Bond at 470-2403.

To contact senior staff writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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