Volunteers, mental health on Merced County Board of Supervisors' agenda

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comApril 23, 2013 

The Merced County Board of Supervisors will recognize a special group of volunteers during today's board meeting.

Ten local organizations were nominated by the community, representing all the supervisorial districts. The supervisors will present awards to those individuals before tackling agenda items.

The board also will consider proclaiming May as Mental Health Month in Merced County.

Sharon Jones, Mental Health Services Act coordinator, said the decision shows the supervisors' support in keeping mental health at the forefront.

"It's important because it shows individuals that they're valued and shows others that mental health is important," Jones said. "The Board of Supervisors have an area that they're responsible for, and it's all about community health and wellness."

Mental Health Month is held each May. It includes an art contest and a picnic at Lake Yosemite. All activities are covered through Mental Health Services Act funding, Jones said.

Also at today's meeting, the Sheriff's Department will ask the supervisors to consider increasing an annual contract with an electronic monitoring service, not to exceed $300,000 in fiscal year 2012-2013 and $450,000 in 2013-2014.

The request comes after an increase in the number of inmates qualifying for the electronic monitoring program under Assembly Bill 109, the state's prison realignment law.

The board also will consider approving a grant close to $500,000 to be used by the Human Services Agency for the First 5 parenting education services.

The Board of Supervisors will meet at 10 a.m. in the board chambers on the third floor of the Merced County Administration Building, 2222 M St. in Merced.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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