KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

A California Audit Finds Oversight Lacking In Regard To Mental Health Spending

News outlets report the review concluded that the state has failed to properly monitor programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Los Angeles Times: Audit Finds Lack Of Oversight Of Mental Health Services Act Spending
Nearly a decade after California voters approved a multibillion-dollar tax increase to improve mental health services, the state has failed to provide proper oversight of county programs funded by the measure, a state audit concluded Thursday. State Auditor Elaine Howle looked at the last six years, during which almost $7.4 billion from the Mental Health Services Act was directed to counties for mental health programs (McGreevy, 8/15).

The Associated Press: Audit: Mental Health Spending Not Properly Tracked
The state has failed to properly monitor more than $7 billion in voter-approved money for mental health programs from California's extra tax on millionaires and cannot reassure the public that it is going to help those most in need, the state auditor reported Thursday. California can offer "little assurance that the counties have effectively and appropriately used the almost $7.4 billion," Auditor Elaine Howle reported (Williams, 8/15).

In other news related to mental health issues -

The Texas Tribune/New York Times: As Mental Health Concerns Grow, Veterans Help Veterans
Mr. Escobedo is now a full-time peer counselor and public relations manager at the Lone Star Veterans Association in Houston, as well as a volunteer coordinator with the Military Veteran Peer Network in Texas. He is one of the network’s 20 volunteer coordinators. The state-financed program works with about 1,000 veterans, including many from the Vietnam War, who donate their time reconnecting soldiers with people in their local communities as well as available government and nonprofit resources (Rocha, 8/15).

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