Santa Ana, Calif. (July 21, 2022) The Orange County Board of Supervisors announced today that the County of Orange was awarded $10 million in state funding to continue delivering mental health services, support and resources for children in crisis and their family members. The Board has prioritized the transformation of Orange County’s approach to behavioral health through the “Be Well Orange County” initiative, a coalition between the County and behavioral health stakeholders in the private and public sectors.
“I want to thank Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris for her leadership to secure this funding in the state budget,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Chaffee. “She is passionate about the need to address the urgently needed behavioral health resources for Orange County residents and the Be Well OC initiative. The state’s ongoing investment in Orange County will be critical as we continue building our Be Well system of care campuses in order to improve access, quality of care and service delivery for children in crisis and their family members.”
According to the 2020 United States Census, children under 18 years of age account for 21.7 percent of Orange County’s total population. A survey conducted in Fall 2020 by the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Mental Health Services Act Office reported that 51 percent of parents indicated their children (four to 17 years old) experienced some form of anxiety or depression. One in four families sought some form of mental health assistance, with therapists being the top go-to support service followed by pediatricians and psychiatrists. Additionally, one in five parents faced two or more barriers in accessing help, with inconvenient or delayed appointment times and preference for face-to-face services being the top two barriers.
Assembly Bill 178 includes language signed by the Governor to appropriate, “…$10,000,000 to the County of Orange to expedite the completion of an urgently needed Behavioral Health Families and Children’s Campus, which will deliver coordinated mental health services, support, and resources to children and their family members.”
“On behalf of the entire Be Well OC movement, I’d like to express our deep gratitude for Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris and our Orange County Board of Supervisors for their unwavering support to pioneer an innovative approach to build a coordinated system of mental health care,” said Be Well OC CEO Marshall Moncrief. “This is a tremendous next step for the Be Well OC movement and Orange County residents.”