South Lake Tahoe mental-health services to remain |

South Lake Tahoe mental-health services to remain

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – The El Dorado County Mental Health Division will have a balanced budget for the 2009-10 year, in contrast to the previous year, in which the division faced a $3 million deficit.

The South Lake Tahoe Clinic will remain open, and still have a 24-hour crisis line for those who need it, according to information presented at a special mental health forum at Lake Tahoe Community College on Thursday. The South Lake Tahoe Mental Health Commission hosted the event, at which the current state of mental health services was discussed.

This week the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to keep a $3.3 million loan in the Mental Health Division’s 2008-09 budget and provide an additional $3 million to the department in contingency funds.

Health Services Department Director Neda West said the department submitted a balanced budget for the approaching fiscal year.

For the 2008-09 fiscal year, the Mental Health Division had a $3.3 million deficit, West said.

As a result, the Mental Health and Public Health Departments combined into one department, Health Services Department, and 30 percent of the staff was reduced, West said.

“The bottom line is we’ve got a lot of challenges,” West said. “This is going to take all of us working together.”

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