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Funds to improve Santa Barbara County behavioral health services

Funds to improve Santa Barbara County behavioral health services

  • Updated

Funds have been approved for Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to expand behavioral health services in its health-care centers, said a department spokeswoman.

Licensed clinical social workers or psychologists currently provide behavioral health services at each health-care center, and substance abuse counselors work with the homeless throughout the county in shelters and on the streets.

But more access to care will be provided by the more than $1.16 million allocated over 26 months from the California Department of Health Care Services’ Behavioral Health Integration Incentive Program, which is implemented locally by CenCal Health.

“This funding supports programs for two distinct groups where access to care has previously been scarce,” said Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso.

Some of the funds will be used by the Behavioral Health program to increase prenatal and postpartum access to mental health and substance abuse screening and treatment.

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy and have been found to have long-term implications for both mother and child, she said.

Funds also will be used to provide diabetes screening for schizophrenics and individuals with bipolar disorder who take antipsychotic drugs, who are at increased risk of diabetes.

The funds will ensure referrals are made, patients are educated about diabetes and treatment plans are coordinated between treating psychiatrists and primary care physicians.

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