Report rips Stanislaus for sloppy paperwork, inadequate crises response in Spanish

Sloppy mental health paperwork and inadequate crises response in Spanish will cost Stanislaus County $2,625, according to a state report.

In an audit conducted every three years, the California Department of Mental Health dinged the county's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for:

Making a Spanish speaker wait three minutes on a 24-hour crisis hot line, then telling the caller to "go to the clinic and collect a booklet."

Providing contradictory information to another caller, then directing him to try back during business hours -- without assessing urgency.

Failing to log all requests for help.

Citing vague connections between goals and treatment. For example, auditors found fault with documentation on a support group's discussion of "Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely."

In what amounts to fines, state auditors take contract money from the county and return it to the federal government.

County officials will comply with orders to shore up deficiencies, said Madelyn Schlaepfer, behavioral health and recovery director. She said problems reflect a fraction of her agency's services.

"Overall, it was a very good review for us," she said.

The county Board of Supervisors today is expected to acknowledge receiving the state report, without comment. Supervisors' meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at gstapley@modbee.com or (209) 578-2390.