Layoff is imminent for 22 mental health workers after the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a tentative list during its Tuesday meeting 4-1, with 5th District Supervisor J. David Colfax dissenting.

Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Director Stacy Cryer proposed the layoffs as part of a plan to close a $2 million mental health services budget gap and streamline services.

"We must reduce core, mandated services," Cryer told the board. "We can no longer afford to provide the same level of service as we have in the past."

The list includes a senior program manager, five staff assistants, a "Human Services" worker and a community health worker, a supervising staff assistant, a social work assistant, four client services specialists, a social worker supervisor and two social workers to be laid off Jan. 1; and three clinicians and two client services specialists to be laid off Feb. 1.

During the public comment portion of the discussion, speakers said the county needs to give more credence to trained peer counselors who help mental health clients, generally supported the cuts, questioned what mental health employees make and criticized the county for not making clear the duties of the workers proposed for layoff or the impacts of the proposed cuts.

Cryer's plan also includes revising the Mental Health Services Agency plan to allow for consolidation, cost savings and bringing in more Medi-Cal dollars; decreasing mental health services

in the county jail; analyzing day rehabilitation services; co-locating Alcohol and Other Drug Services for adults with mental health; and cutting out-of-county placements, among others.

Tiffany Revelle can be reached at, or at 468-3523.