Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) czar Alice Gleghorn announced she’s hired Pam Fisher as new Deputy Director of Behavioral Health, a vacancy created almost a year ago when the previous deputy Michael Camacho-Craft stepped down to take a job with the county’s Public Health Department instead.
Camacho-Craft transferred shortly after Gleghorn was appointed head of ADMHS a year ago — having applied for Gleghorn’s post — and his position had been filled on a temporary basis in the meantime. The county’s mental health department has been in the process of protracted and perpetual reform for the past two years.
Fisher, who has been head of Ventura County’s Adult Services, has a long history in the mental health field, having started with Casa Pacifica in Santa Barbara the 1990s. As deputy director, Fisher will be responsible for implementing departmental reforms — dubbed “Systems Change” — designed to connect some of the key missing dots in service delivery.
One keyhole just plugged January 4 is that of a crisis stabilization unit (CSU), where individuals experiencing acute mental health problems can seek limited care and treatment. The CSU contains eight reclining chairs equipped with audio and video equipment and staffed with mental health professionals and peer counselors. As of last week, the unit has handled 11 patients.