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El Dorado County Mental Health services eyes leasing new space

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PLACERVILLE, CA - On March 12, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors authorized staff to expand lease negotiations to house the county’s Mental Health program.  In addition to exploring renewal options for its current space on 670 Placerville Drive, facilities staff will consider lease options for the Victory Mine Building in Diamond Springs.

County Health and Human Service Agency Director Daniel Nielson has expressed concerns about the future of the mental health program in the existing facility. Mental Health services must meet privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well has accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, many improvements will be required to ensure continued viability of the mental health program at the current location.  Most of the funding for the Mental Health Division is provided by state and federal sources. This funding may be jeopardized by continuing to operate in a facility that cannot meet accessibility and privacy standards for clients.

County facilities manager Russ Fackrell also noted the market for commercial office space has significantly changed since the county began leasing Mental Health’s current location five and a half years ago. 

“The reality is that every dollar we spend toward facility costs is one less dollar of programs and services to mental health clients,” said Fackrell.

Nielson said he's pleased a range of options is being explored for the program, and expressed hope for a favorable outcome. 

“The services provided at the mental health facility are important services not only to the clients and their families, but also to the public in general,” said Nielson. “The county must make an informed decision regarding how and where to provide the services in light of limited funding.”