Ventura County delays start of mental health changes

Ventura County will delay expanding conditions for involuntary mental illness treatment because more groundwork needs to be laid, the Board of Supervisors decided.

The county is one of about 45 in the state that has delayed implementation of Senate Bill 43, which would make it easier to identify patients with “severe disabilities.” Designated individuals may be subject to treatment against their will for up to two and a half months or to supervision for a year or more.

The law passed the Legislature without objection in October and was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, taking effect on January 1. But the law allows counties to delay implementation until January 2026. Ventura County supervisors exercised that option at Tuesday’s board meeting, but plan to revisit the situation every six months to see if it can be done sooner.

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