Santa Barbara County is expected to take the next step this week towards development of a joint private-public mental health facility in the northern part of the county.
The county, and Marian Medical Center are talking about creating a 26-28 bed facility on hospital property on the 500 block of Plaza Drive in Santa Maria. The site would take advantage of former Marian facilities which have been replaced by a new hospital.
The county is in critical need of new mental health inpatient facilities, with a shortage so acute some current patients are moved out of county for treatment.
Marian has already spent about $300,000 on development of the mental health facility project. County Supervisors will tomorrow consider allocating $90,000 towards planning for the effort.