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The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to provide mental health services. That means the newly insured will have the option to seek care anywhere they want. This has thrust publicly run mental health clinics into a new landscape of competition.

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Stanislaus was one of the first counties in California to submit a plan for funding from the Mental Health Services Act, the voter-supported tax on millionaires to expand the state’s mental health services.

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Richard Curtis' schizophrenic son was rejected repeatedly from Social Security, which would allow him to qualify for Medi-Cal and more extensive county services.

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When I first pitched a series of stories exploring access to mental health care in the wake of state budget cuts, I expected to encounter some difficulty finding subjects.

 

 

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Jonathan Freedman is the chief deputy director for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Previously, he was a legislative affairs analyst for the county's Chief Administrative Office, the office in charge of administering all county services and information to the public. Freedman, who led a team equivalent to a "product development" team in the private sector, analyzes initiatives for both operational and financial impact on the county. He then crafted a strategy that utilized the county's limited resources to achieve the best results.

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