County Under Pressure to Deliver More Behavioral Health Beds

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Article by Lisa Halverstadt  |  Read full article at Voice of San Diego

It’s long been a foregone conclusion among those trying to help San Diegans with behavioral health challenges: San Diego County doesn’t have enough beds for all who desperately need them. 

Now with the backdrop of new state mandates expected to increase demand, an addiction epidemic and a March state bond measure aiming to fund more beds, the pressure is on the county to deliver. 

Exactly how many beds the region needs remains unclear. The county has yet to share overarching projections but suggested it needs hundreds of new community-based beds for mental health patients alone. That was before factoring in the latest reforms. 

What’s Already in Play

County officials are pledging to meet with stakeholders to hash out how to tackle new demands tied to SB 43. They are set to update supervisors on those discussions and the time they’ll need to implement conservatorship expansion in late March.  

Lawson-Remer has also said she plans to this month formally propose county investments in step-down beds for homeless patients to support SB 43 implementation.

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