News Headlines Article

County Stashing Mental Health Cash While Needs Go Unmet
Voice of OC

As many mental health services in Orange County suffer the consequences of chronic underfunding – such as shortages of psychiatric beds and wait times for psychiatrists stretching into months – the county has built up about $220 million in unspent taxpayer money that California voters specifically earmarked for expanding mental health services.

The funds come from the Mental Health Services Act, a 1 percent tax on millionaires’ income that was approved by voters in 2004. It injects more a billion dollars each year into mental health programs overseen by county governments, including about $119 million in Orange County this fiscal year.