The County of Orange has received funding from the State of California to support the County’s Be Well mental health initiative along with funding for data integration in the upcoming year.
Chairman Andrew Do of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, First District Supervisor, who championed both funding request efforts for the County stated, “The funding for another Be Well OC treatment facility and data integration system to coordinate services will help the County build an effective behavioral health system that has been lacking for too long. With the first Be Well OC campus in the City of Orange at full capacity, a second campus will expand our ability to provide much needed mental health services for all Orange County’s residents. Data integration allows County staff across departments to access relevant information for coordination and delivery of services to better meet the needs of individuals utilizing these services.”
Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) were integral in securing state support to the County’s second Be Well Campus. Thanks to their efforts, the project will receive $5 million dollars for a second service location to be built in the City of Irvine. Resources provided will include clinical services as well as residential services for mental illness and substance use to treat both adults and youth. The County of Orange is dedicated to educating the community and providing access to services by establishing multiple service locations to address increased demand for mental health and substance use disorder services.
“The second Be Well location is another step in developing a mental health system for our community that provides multifaceted treatment and we are optimistic that a second campus will continue the transformation of mental health and substance use care in Orange County and be a resource for people in need of assistance,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee, Supervisor, Fourth District. “I am also excited that we also received funding to enhance data integration across care programs to improve the quality of care and connection to services that we offer our residents.”
The County of Orange will also receive $2 million dollars to invest in a system of care data integration for care coordination thanks to the work and support of Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana). Currently the County operates five different systems of care and programs across various departments including health care, behavioral health, community corrections, housing and benefits and support services. To most effectively and efficiently coordinate care and treatment of vulnerable residents who are consistently crossing multiple systems of care, the County is developing a software solution for a coordinated data-sharing platform allowing information sharing among service providers, County departments and external stakeholders.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Senator Umberg and Assemblymember Petrie-Norris to secure funding for these two critical projects,” said Supervisor Katrina Foley, Second District. “ I have known both legislators for many years and was pleased to see our advocacy efforts pay dividends for our taxpayers. The second Be Well campus will allow more Orange County residents to have access to mental health and wellness services, while the data integration project will allow for more information sharing between our county agencies to better assess the needs and assist our most vulnerable residents.”
Services at the second Be Well location will also include wellness and social services, crisis stabilization units, substance use disorder intake and referrals, withdrawal management, and substance use disorder and co-occurring residential treatment, all of which are a critical need for the community.
“This is great news for our County. The Be Well campus in my district in Irvine, and we are fulfilling our promise to provide critical resources for Orange County residents who need mental health care. The Be Well model can inspire communities throughout California and our nation, while changing the future on how we treat mental health,” said Supervisor Donald Wagner, Third District. “The County also received funding to update technology that will increase efficiency from check-in to discharge and beyond.”
Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett stated, “Mental health care continues to be a top priority for me, and this funding is critical to our efforts to provide a comprehensive system of care to all Orange County residents regardless of their ability to pay. We now have the opportunity to not only build a second facility, but also streamline services and resources across County departments through a robust data integration system.”
Concurrently, for each system of care within the County, there are several departments providing services and assistance to the specific population. Today, each department maintains its own data-gathering and reporting structure and is responsible for the maintenance, privacy, security and integrity of the information. The plan to invest in a solution that allows for integration and communication across systems of care is fundamental in improving services.
“Our neighbors need help. Countless Orange County residents are struggling with the compounding challenges of homelessness, substance use disorder, and unaddressed mental health issues. These conditions do not occur in a vacuum—they are interrelated,” said Senator Tom Umberg. “I am proud to collaborate with the County of Orange and Be Well Orange County to secure $5 million in state funding for a behavioral health wellness campus that will deliver coordinated behavioral health services to all Orange County residents.”
“While the scale of the homelessness crisis is staggering, we have the strategies, resources and will to solve it,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. “By securing state funding for a second Orange County Be Well mental health center we are streamlining resources to provide our community proven care to address the underlying issues of mental illness and substance abuse. In this public-private partnership we can act now to save lives and heal our communities.”
“I am pleased that the bipartisan effort that I led to include vital funding for Orange County has been secured in the state budget. The funding will facilitate the assessment and linkage of homeless Californians to housing and supportive services within the county. By increasing data sharing among public agencies, we will be able to better help vulnerable residents access the care and services they need,” said Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).
The second of three planned campuses, Be Well Campuses are the outcome of a public-private partnership that began with the Orange County Board of Supervisors Mental Health Ad Hoc Committee in 2015, comprised of Chairman Andrew Do and Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, examining behavioral health services in Orange County.
“The shared vision and the shared commitment to actualize the vision remains. Orange County is creating a world-class system of mental health care for all residents, and we are doing it today. We are grateful to the many elected leaders and so many in our community joining together to make this vision a reality,” said Richard Afable M.D., M.P.H., President and Board Chair, MindOC / Be Well Orange County.