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San Bernardino County Is Losing $4 Million Per Month Because Of Child Mental Health System Failures

10 of California’s 58 counties are losing a portion of their state funding because their mental health workforces aren’t up to snuff.

San Bernardino County is one of them.

The lobbying organization for county health directors says county health departments need help hiring more providers. 

The state started enforcing sanctions on 10 California counties in June. It’s withholding a total of $12 million a month from these counties, until they hire enough counselors and psychiatrists to be compliant.  San Bernardino County, for example, was short more than 500 child mental health providers and is losing $4 million a month.

But Michelle Doty Cabrera with the County Behavioral Health Directors Association says the requirements aren’t realistic, given small county budgets and the challenge of recruiting physicians to rural areas.

“I wish that we had more of a coordination and partnership with the state on really trying to map out where we know there are significant workforce shortages, where we need to make investments.”

Many counties are appealing the sanctions. The Department of Health Care Services says this is about upholding standards and making sure California has enough providers to meet patient demand.

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