Stanislaus County nonprofits to expand kids’ mental health services, thanks to state funding [The Modesto Bee] – Insurance NewsNet

Aspiranet was awarded $30 million in grants in the third and fourth rounds of funding to construct psychiatric health facilities and space for crisis stabilization, children’s crisis residential care, short-term residential therapy programs and wellness.

Those facilities, with 30 beds, are expected to be completed by September 2024, a state website says.

The psychiatric health facilities are expected to help address a long-standing problem in which local children in mental health crises wait in hospital emergency departments for inpatient beds to open far outside their home county. Aspiranet is developing a regional approach with Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties.

Aspiranet, which has programs in Turlock and a major focus on foster youth, was approved for fourth-round funding to add facilities for outpatient substance use treatment and short-term residential therapy.

Kara Anguiano, chief fiscal and administrative officer for county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, said the Aspiranet projects will be geared more for crisis stabilization for children and may include a mobile crisis component.

The county hopes the services will result in fewer children who are waiting in hospital emergency departments or need an inpatient bed in a psychiatric facility.

The projects should fill some of the gaps in current services, Anguiano said.

“We hope it will improve the stays in hospital emergency departments and de-escalate crisis situations, so not as many children have to be admitted to a high level of care,” she said. The county is “very supportive and we think it will be a good thing for our community.”

The Modesto-based Center for Human Services received $5,069,000 for an outpatient center to provide mental health services and substance use counseling for people 25 years and younger.

Duenas said the outpatient center should assist parents by increasing access to mental health assessments, which are an important step in getting appropriate treatment.

The center hopes to expand services for families in the Health Plan of San Joaquin and HealthNet managed-care Medi-Cal plans and also may serve those with private health insurance, Duenas said.

The 7,000 square-foot outpatient facility is planned near the Center for Human Services’ youth navigation center on Briggsmore Avenue. The plans include rooms for individual and group counseling and space for youth prevention activities.

Duenas said more than 50 percent of young people who come to the CHS shelter or navigation center report that they have mental health issues.

She said the outpatient center has been a need for years and was envisioned when CHS purchased the former Roller King site on Briggsmore.

Newsom’s mental health plan for kids cites a recent assessment finding that one in 13 children have a serious emotional disturbance. The rates are higher for low-income, Latino and Black children.

In the United States, emergency room visits for children age 5 to 11 who are in a mental health crisis have risen 24%. The percentage increase is even higher, 31%, among adolescents 12 to 17.

The suicide rate for California young people in ages 15 to 24 is 8.9 per 100,000 population, which is up from 7.3 per 100,000 in 2014. Young adults in the 18 to 25 age category have the highest rates of serious mental illness and drug use.

Some regions and counties in the state have limited or no treatment facilities for young people.

South Modesto project

A $4.7 million state grant will enable Sierra Vista to build a new resource center in south Modesto’s Bret Harte area.

Andrew Timbie, chief executive officer for Sierra Vista, said the project will level existing structures that the organization purchased at the corner of Imperial Avenue and Gutherie Street, replacing them with a new resource center and sufficient parking.

Timbie said the center will facilitate collaboration among local government and nonprofit entities to develop services and enhance care management for the surrounding neighborhoods.

He said the center may be used for everything from social services to workforce training and mental health care. Clinicians could meet with clients at the resource center, and Spanish-speaking “promotoras” could work with community members.

Timbie said the project takes a more holistic approach to meeting the mental health needs of young people and the community.

Stanislaus County is spending American Rescue Plan Act funds in the Bret Harte area to upgrade the quality of life by building sidewalks for children walking to school and to make other infrastructure improvements.

Many counties in California, including Stanislaus, don’t have enough professional people with the training or experience to provide mental health services to young people.

According to the state, a 2018 workforce study found that the need for mental health professionals was the greatest in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California’s Inland Empire.

The state is working on career paths for 40,000 new mental health professionals to enter the field.

This story was originally published December 28, 20226:00 AM.


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