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About Mental Health

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors finalized two of four contracts Tuesday, Sept. 26, for mental health care providers that will operate smaller, more specialized facilities. Doing so will allow the county to obtain federal reimbursements through the state for those services.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors authorized mental health services contracts that can be reimbursed by federal funding. Courtesy County of San Mateo.

The county is replacing the 117-bed Cordilleras Mental Health Center near Redwood City with four smaller facilities that will treat different types of mental and behavioral issues in more focused settings. That will allow providers to be reimbursed by federal funding, through California’s Medi-Cal program, which only pays for mental health or substance abuse treatment in facilities with fewer than 17 beds.

The new entity, at the same site, will be called the Cordilleras Health and Healing Campus.

The first contract, for $12.9 million, was given to Caminar Inc., a health care provider that serves individuals and families who have complex mental health and substance abuse issues, according to the county’s health department.

The other contract, for $11.8 million, was awarded to STARS, which operates as Stars Community Services. That organization will treat patients with sexual behavioral problems.

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The mental health rehabilitation centers will each provide 16 full-time residential beds, case management support, medication management, crisis management and stabilization services. Both contracts run from October through June 2026.

Agreements with the other two health care providers, Telecare Corporation and Crestwood Behavioral Health, will be considered at a later meeting.

Telecare is the current provider at Cordilleras and serves people with severe mental illness who also have an intellectual disability. Crestwood Behavioral Health serves those with severe mental health illnesses who also have medical complexities.

Services at the new campus are expected to be offered starting in spring.