THC gets some really sick satisfaction from reading the Humboldt Grand Jury Reports. Seriously- they totally bash on the County for things that piss us off, and they do it succinctly. Professionally. (AKA they don’t sound like the idiots writing this blog.)
Just this past weekend, THC highlighted part of the Grand Jury’s report on how the County, and particularly the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, have totally failed to comply with a U.S. Department of Justice mandate to fix our abhorrent ADA situation.
And there’s plenty more gold to mine in the Grand Jury’s reports for the year! Take this report on the County Behavioral Health Board’s apparent refusal to address the severe problems with the County’s Mental Health Branch. Sure, good ol’ Phil Crandall created a large part of this mess – but the BHB hasn’t done a damn thing in years to take any significant action to offset the issue. And they haven’t done anything at all since the mass exodus of mental health professionals from the County’s ranks about a year ago.
Here’s a blurb from the report on the BHB’s recent supposed “activity:
“Activity of the Behavioral Health Board: The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury found that the volunteer Board members of the BHB are well-intentioned and well-versed on mental health issues. The BHB holds ten monthly meetings per year as provided by their Bylaws. However, the role of the board members at BHB meetings appears to have been limited to that of spectators, while the upper management of DHHS and the Mental Health Branch staff made numerous presentations. The only action items the HCCGJ ascertained from the previous year’s Minutes were housekeeping matters such as approval of the Minutes. (THC emphasis.) There was rarely any discussion among Board members regarding the presentations made. The Board did not proactively engage in making recommendations, advise BOS, or evaluate procedures and programs.”
In brief, the BHB is mandated to communicate matters of concern regarding mental health services to the County Board of Supervisors. However, the report notes “… a continuing pattern of no formal communication between the BOS and BHB.” And also, “…even with the mass resignation of most of the mental health physicians in 2015, the BHB did nothing; they did not discuss the issue or take any action. Although the BHB is charged with advising the BOS about any aspect of the mental health program, the BOS never discussed this issue with the BHB.”
So…yeah. BHB’s Board is well-intentioned (as most Board’s are, save for those f***ers over at HAF), but incompetent. And the Board of Supervisors, resident geniuses that they are, didn’t make any sort of effort to demand that the BHB do its job. Despite the fact that our County is embroiled in a massive mental health care crisis that is crippling to those who need mental health care and also to the greater community as a whole. Really well done, everybody. Really well done.
Below is a complete list of the Grand Jury’s findings with regards to the Behavioral Health Board. And don’t worry – we’ll get into the report in which the Grand Jury says the County has no frickin’ clue how they’re spending their money soon enough, as well.
F1. The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board does not adequately serve the Mental Health Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, nor the citizens of Humboldt County.
F2. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors provides little or no direction, specific goals, or training to the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board.
F3. The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board failed to submit written annual reports to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for the years 2014 and 2015.
F4. There is little evidence of communication between the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board.
F5. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors failed to include the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board in discussions regarding the County mental health system.
F6. The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board assumed little or no responsibility for investigating issues of concern regarding the County’s mental health system.
F7. The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board Minutes in the past year reflect no formal actions taken to advocate for the mentally ill in Humboldt County.