SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors was busy in an all-day meeting where it received an update on the mental health and substance use in the county. KRON4 has the details and what some of the community members had to say.
A Santa Clara County resident who attended a public comment forum on Tuesday stated, “at the facility I currently work at there is not enough care and support that we can provide. Often the case is people fall through the cracks when it comes to mental health.”
Community members listened in as the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors received an update on the mental health and substance use crisis in the county. Many people took the opportunity to voice their support for more services.
An individual who spoke at a public comment forum Tuesday stated, “I’m here today to voice my support for the changes mentioned. I urge the board of supervisors to hold the county administration accountable for meeting the needs of people with mental disabilities, especially in the midst of a recognized mental health and substance abuse crisis.”
County officials say they are reaching out to the community to try and figure out what is needed. “In February we administered a community-wide survey, a first of its kind for our department to find out the state of our community’s mental health and substance use needs,” an official said.
The county held 25 virtual community discussions to get more feedback. They say they are still dealing with a shortage of mental health providers and they are working to bring more people into the field.
Leaders say they are also trying to find room in the budget for more competitive salaries and get people credentialed. The supervisors voted in support of monthly updates on mental health and substance use as a public crisis and received reports related to the financial resources for expanding behavioral health system capacities.
At a public comment forum in Santa Clara County, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said, “I’ll add formally that the board will start receiving monthly reports on the behavioral health continuum of care.”
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They also voted to stop the plan to construct a new $689 million jail. A commenter said, “the county needs to focus on establishing more mental health and addiction recovery services instead of spending millions of dollars on a new jail.”