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Behavioral Health Department

I appreciate your reporting the disagreements that have surfaced since the Board of Supervisors reorganized county health services to move the Behavioral Health Department (handling mental health and alcohol and drug problems) under the Human Services Agency.

The supervisors’ 3-to-2 vote to take Behavioral Health away from the Ventura County Medical Center has been strongly resented by many. The change smacks of lengthy politicking.

Those who have for years been pressing the public acceptance of mental health as a medical problem, rather than assuming it to be some shameful affliction with no connection to other health problems, consider this needless shuffling of chairs to be totally unreasonable. Both our elected officials and our senior professionals should not be wasting public funds and energy in this manner.

One hopes that public attention will be sufficient to get this faulty decision by the Board of Supervisors rescinded and the Behavioral Health Department restored to a unified Ventura County Medical Center, where it clearly belongs.

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EDWARD SHUCK, Thousand Oaks


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