County To Use $3.94 Million State Grant To Build Mental Health Crisis Facility

(March 3) The county of San Bernardino will use a $3.94 million grant it just received from the state toward the construction of a crisis residential treatment facility in the city of San Bernardino
According to CaSonya Thomas, the director of the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, the funding will be adequate to construct and furnish the facility, and there is no requirement that the county put up money of its own to obtain the grant.
The board of supervisors this week complied with Thomas’s recommendation to “accept a grant award from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority for capital funding for construction of a crisis residential treatment facility in San Bernardino for the expansion of crisis residential treatment services, in the amount of $3,945,906, for the period of December 4, 2014 through June 30, 2016.”
Thomas told the board “The Department of Behavioral Health will use the California Health Facilities Financing Authority grant to fund construction of a new facility in San Bernardino to provide crisis residential treatment services to individuals throughout the county. The department of behavioral health anticipates the expansion will serve approximately 332 individuals through the residential facility annually. The construction of this facility will assist the department of behavioral health in implementing statewide goals by expanding access to crisis services within the County, minimizing law enforcement involvement, and reducing costs to local law enforcement and hospital emergency departments. The use of grant funding will provide for the health and social service needs of residents throughout the county and fulfill county goals and objectives by: 1) increasing access to crisis residential services; 2) effectively meeting the needs of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in the least restrictive manner possible; and 3) working collaboratively with local law enforcement, hospitals, and community based providers. The department of behavioral health intends to sustain the proposed expansion of services indefinitely, past the two-year grant funding term, through the use of Mental Health Services Act and Medi-Cal funding. In order to secure the California Health Facilities Financing Authority funding,
Thomas said, “The majority of grant funding ($3,397,500) will be used for capital costs to build a new facility, housing a new Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) program. The remaining grant funding will be used for furniture/equipment ($500,000), information technology (IT) software and telephone infrastructure, computers and other IT equipment ($48,406).
The crisis residential treatment facility will contain 16 beds, specializing in providing crisis intervention for individuals diagnosed with mental health and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. Services will include, but will not be limited to, assessments, treatment plan development, collateral services, crisis intervention, medication support services, and individual and group therapy. The goal of the program is to improve the appropriateness of care, increase access to community based mental health crisis services, reduce recidivism, and mitigate the burden on hospital and law enforcement resources.”
Thomas said the county applied for a grant in 2013, but that “the department of behavioral health did not receive an award for that submission; however, on July 9, 2014, CHFFA announced it would reopen the filing period for the programs” The county reapplied and was given preliminary notice on November 6, 2014 that it would get the grant. Official notice from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority came on February 4, 2015.
The department of behavioral health intends to use an existing county owned location in the 700 block of Gilbert Street in San Bernardino as the location for the facility.

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