Santa Barbara County offers $90,000 bonuses to psychiatrists

Santa Barbara County


Santa Barbara County is offering $90,000 singing bonuses to lure psychiatrists to join its Department of Behavioral Wellness. [KSBY]

The county has an adequate number of psychiatrists on staff. However, the majority of them are employed under temporary assignments, said Suzanne Grimmesey, the Chief of Strategy and Community Engagement for the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness.

Santa Barbara County’s Board of Supervisors approved the $90,000 bonus program, which is set to last through June 2023.

Likewise, San Luis Obispo County is also struggling to attract psychiatrists to fill long-term positions. SLO County is offering similar incentives as Santa Barbara County, said San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Administrator Anne Robin. Competition from Atascadero State Hospital and the California Men’s Colony makes it challenging to attract new long-term specialists, Robin said.

To attract psychiatrists, SLO County is offering coverage for training. The county is also participating in state and federal loan reimbursement programs. Job applicants who have certain student loans are allowed to apply for scholarships or loan reimbursement, Robin said.