Enhancing Mental Health Care in Contra Costa County: New Rehabilitation Center Planned

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Enhancing Mental Health Care in Contra Costa County: New Rehabilitation Center PlannedPhoto byScott WebbonUnsplash

In a significant development for the residents of Contra Costa County, California, Contra Costa Health (CCH) is preparing to build a state-of-the-art mental health rehabilitation center. This promising endeavor has been made possible through a substantial $18.6 million grant from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Let’s delve into the details of this important project and what it means for the community.

Closing the Gap in Mental Health Services

The proposed mental health rehabilitation center will play a crucial role in bridging a significant gap in mental health services within Contra Costa County. It will cater to individuals experiencing severe mental illness who require round-the-clock residential care but do not necessitate hospitalization. Presently, such individuals often face the challenge of having to travel outside their community, sometimes even across the state, to access the care they need.

A Beacon of Hope in Richmond

This much-needed facility is set to be located at 847 Brookside Drive in Richmond. It will feature 44 beds and provide 24-hour sub-acute care — a level of care that is less intensive and longer-term compared to acute care typically offered in hospitals. What makes this initiative particularly noteworthy is that, at present, there are no facilities within Contra Costa County offering this specific service. Consequently, individuals ready to transition from hospital care but still requiring 24-hour support in a secure facility are often transferred to neighboring counties or even farther away.

Bringing Residents Back Home

One of the primary goals of this project is to keep Contra Costa residents within their community while ensuring they receive the high-quality care they deserve. John Gioia, Chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, emphasized the importance of this facility in reducing the burden on patients and families who currently must uproot their lives to access the necessary care.

Suzanne Tavano, Behavioral Health Director at CCH, expressed her commitment to bringing Contra Costa residents back home, stating, “Our goal is to bring Contra Costa residents back home. People who need this level of care are receiving it in facilities located in the greater Bay Area and Central Valley. For at least 20 years, we’ve been working toward opening our own facility in Contra Costa, for Contra Costa residents.”

A Community Effort

The success of this project can be attributed, in part, to the tireless efforts of the local mental health advocacy community. Their voices played a pivotal role in securing state funding for this essential initiative. Currently, over 100 patients from Contra Costa County are receiving sub-acute care at facilities located outside the county.

Lauren Rettagliata and Teresa Pasquini, community advocates who co-authored a report titled “Housing That Heals: A Search for a Place Like Home for Families Like Ours” in 2020, highlighted the significance of a healthcare system that offers a comprehensive continuum of care. They stated, “A healthcare system that includes a tiered array of Housing That Heals as part of a full continuum of medically necessary care will help mend our broken hearts and bend the harm curve for families like ours.”

Looking Ahead

While the grant has been secured and the vision is set, specific details such as the project’s timeline and design are yet to be finalized. However, this mental health rehabilitation center represents a significant stride towards improving mental health services in Contra Costa County, ensuring that residents can access the care they need without the added stress of uprooting their lives. It’s a testament to the power of community advocacy and the commitment of healthcare providers to meet the needs of their constituents.

As this project progresses, it stands as a beacon of hope for Contra Costa County and a testament to the positive change that can be achieved when communities come together to address critical healthcare gaps.


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