More service needed for youth mental health care

02/04/2014 5:02 PM

02/06/2014 8:59 AM

Re "Youth's mental health needs spike" (Page A1, Feb. 2): I want to thank Jocelyn Wiener and Phillip Reese for their compelling article describing Sacramento's lack of intensive community-based mental health services, that is, programs that go beyond office-based treatment to keep youth from being hospitalized and re-hospitalized.

A limited number of Sacramento youth on Medi-Cal are receiving such services, through the county's Flexible Integrated Treatment program. Several agencies partner with the county to provide these services and we are committed to working with the county on much needed program expansion and development.

Meanwhile, families with private insurance and those with no insurance have virtually no access to intensive community-based services. One hopes that progressive policies, health care reform and the enforcement of parity laws will address this important problem in all sectors.

-- Dr. Mark Edelstein, EMQ FamiliesFirst, Sacramento

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