South Lake Tahoe groups tackle mental health gap
Ernie Klindt moved to South Lake Tahoe in 1994. Four years later, he entered El Dorado County’s mental health system because he needed medication and counseling for his bipolar and schizoaffective disorder.
“Back then, there were more services for us,” Klindt said.
According to El Dorado County Mental Health Division Program Manager Laura Walny, the county’s mental health division underwent a series of budget cuts more than a year and a half ago. A merger between the Health Services Department and the Human Services Department in fall 2011 created the Health and Human Services Agency, an umbrella that includes the Mental Health Division. The point was to bridge gaps in the agency, Walny said.
Now the goal is to build on that foundation at the community level. Walny said the county has discussed implementing a dual diagnosis program, which partners mental health with the alcohol and drug programs, and more intensive case management services, which wrap around patients’ needs.
The Community Health Needs Assessment that ...