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County Behavioral Health Services Receives Recognition

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Several programs and individuals from the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Behavioral Health Services (BHS) division have received recognition at the local, state, and federal levels for their efforts to improve the lives of people with mental health, gambling or substance abuse problems.

“This is great news as it shows that the County is achieving its goal of providing the highest level of services to the public,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox. “I want to congratulate our County employees and our community partners for receiving the recognition they so richly deserve.”

The following programs and individuals were recognized:

  • Serial Inebriate Program: Received the award for Outstanding Achievements in the Alcohol and Drug field from the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California (CADPAAC). The Serial Inebriate Program was recognized for decreasing the use of police and emergency resources by chronic alcoholics.

  • Louise Lecklitner, Alcohol & Drug Program Specialist: A 20-year veteran in the treatment and recovery services arena, Lecklitner received the Valuing Diversity Award for 2008 from the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California. Lecklitner has been instrumental in ensuring the County provides appropriate and culturally sensitive treatment services for individuals from different ethnic and economic backgrounds.

    This week, Lecklitner will also be named "Outstanding Contributor in the Field” at the 22nd Annual National Problem Gambling Conference in Long Beach.

  • Mental Health Housing Council and Dr. Piedad García: Both received Advocate of the Year Awards from the San Diego Housing Federation for their efforts to improve the living conditions of consumers. Dr. García is director of the County’s Adult and Older Adult Mental Health Services, which offers treatment, rehabilitation and recovery services to people who are experiencing persistent and severe mental illness or a mental health crisis.

  • Oasis Clubhouse for Transitional Age Young Adults: Recognized by the National Association of Counties with its 2008 Achievement Award. Oasis is a new mental health program for seriously mentally ill young adults in the county. The member-run program reaches out to young people, ages 18-25, and provides employment, vocational training, education, and a network of supportive relationships.

  •  Problem Gambling Counselor Training and Certification Program: The County’s innovative partnership with local casinos to train counselors on problem gambling issues was recognized by the National Association of Counties with a 2008 Achievement Award in the Program Category. Since its inception two years ago, 45 mental health and substance abuse counselors have received comprehensive training to become competent at identifying, assessing, and treating problem gamblers.

“The success of our programs is due to the great collaboration between Behavioral Health Services and our many partners,” said Dr. Jennifer Schaffer, Director of BHS. “We are delighted to receive these honors and happy that the commitment and dedication of our employees are being recognized.”

Behavioral Health Services offers a continuum of programs aimed at providing mental health, alcohol and other drug services for children, youth, families, adults, and older adults to help them improve their quality of life.

People with a mental health or alcohol problem should call the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339.