Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) announced more than $350,000 in federal grant funding for two local health centers to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services.

“We must continue to do more to address the drug abuse and mental health issues afflicting too many individuals in our communities,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “That is why I am pleased to see additional funding go to two Ventura County health centers that will help expand their reach and improve access to care for those who are in need.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $175,701 to Clinicas Del Camino Real, Inc. and $175,700 to the Ventura County Health Care Agency as part of the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) program. According to HRSA, AIMS funding supports the expansion of access to mental health services, and substance abuse services focusing on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse.

“Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. is pleased to have received funds to increase access to mental health services,” said Lucrecia Campos-Juarez, Clinicas del Camino Real’s Director of Mental Health Services. “Providing school-based mental health services is a crucial aspect of our Mental Health Department and these funds will allow us to hire an additional school-based provider as well as provide substance abuse awareness trainings at school sites and at our clinic locations. Additional funds will be used to train Clinicas mental health and primary care staff on substance abuse awareness, trauma-informed care, and suicide prevention.”

“We are pleased to receive these funds to support our work to increase access to mental health and awareness for opioid abuse prevention,” said Dr. Theresa Cho, Medical Director for Quality, Performance Improvement, and Patient Safety at the Ventura County Health Care Agency’s Ambulatory Care Administration. “These funds will be used toward tablet devices that will use a standardized method for gathering information from patients regarding substance abuse risk. Based on this information, medical providers will be able to direct patients toward brief intervention or referral for treatment as needed. We will provide outreach for opioid abuse prevention and treatment. Funds will also support the purchase of naloxone for opioid overdose emergency response and a part-time licensed clinical social worker to facilitate 12-step treatment and individualized counseling.”

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