Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) in Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County Mental Health's (CCMH) integrated Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Three Year Program and Expenditure Plan integrates the components of Community Services and Supports, Prevention and Early Intervention, Innovation, Workforce Education and Training, and Capital Facilities/Information Technology.
This Plan describes county operated and contract programs that are funded by MHSA, what they will do, and how much money will be set aside to fund these programs. Also, the plan will describe what will be done to evaluate their effectiveness and ensure they meet the intent and requirements of the Mental Health Services Act.
California approved Proposition 63 in November, 2004, and the Mental Health Services Act became law. The Act provides significant additional funding to the existing public mental health system, and combines prevention services with a full range of integrated services to treat the whole person. With the goal of wellness, recovery and selfsufficiency, the intent of the law is to reach out and include those most in need and those who have been traditionally underserved. Services are to be consumer driven, family focused, based in the community, culturally and linguistically competent, and integrated with other appropriate health and social services. Funding is to be provided at sufficient levels to ensure that counties can provide each child, transition age youth, adult and senior with the necessary mental health services, medications and support set forth in their treatment plan. Finally, the Act requires this Three Year Plan be developed with the active participation of local stakeholders in a community program planning process.
Thus the Mental Health Services Act not only provides additional funding, but also provides a philosophical framework for the entire Behavioral Health System to successfully provide care to those whose needs are greatest.
- Community Services & Supports
- Prevention & Early Intervention
- Workforce Education & Training
- Capital Facilities/Information Technology
Community Services and Supports
Community Services and Supports is the component of the Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan that refers to service delivery systems for mental health services and supports for children and youth, transition age youth (ages 16-25), adults, and older adults (over 60). Contra Costa County Mental Health utilizes MHSA funding for the categories of Full Service Partnerships and General System Development.
First approved in 2006 with an initial State appropriation of $7.1 million Contra Costa's budget has grown incrementally to $31.5 million annually in commitments to programs and services under this component. The construction and direction of how and where to provide funding began with an extensive and comprehensive community program planning process whereby stakeholders were provided training in the intent and requirements of the Mental Health Services Act, actively participated in various venues to identify and prioritize community mental health needs, and developed strategies by which service delivery could grow with increasing MHSA revenues.
Prevention and Early Intervention
Prevention and Early Intervention is the component of the Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan that refers to services designed to prevent mental illnesses from becoming severe and disabling. This means providing outreach and engagement to increase recognition of early signs of mental illness, and intervening early in the onset of a mental illness. Programs in this component are designed to 1) reduce risk for negative outcomes related to untreated mental illness for groups whose risk of developing a serious mental illness is significantly higher than average; 2) prevent relapse for individuals in recovery from a serious mental illness; 3) reduce the stigma and discrimination related to mental illness; and 4) prevent suicide. All of the programs contained in this component help create access and linkage to mental health treatment, with an emphasis on outreach and engagement to those populations who have been identified as traditionally underserved.
First approved in 2009, with an initial State appropriation of $5.53 million Contra Costa's Prevention and Early Intervention budget has grown incrementally to $7.86 million annually in commitments to programs and services. The construction and direction of how and where to provide funding for this component began with an extensive and comprehensive community program planning process that was similar to that conducted in 2005-6 for the Community Services and Support component. Underserved and at risk populations were researched, stakeholders actively participated in identifying and prioritizing mental health needs, and strategies were developed to meet these needs. The programs and services described below are directly derived from this initial planning process, and expanded by subsequent yearly community program planning processes, to include current year.
Innovation is the component of the Three Year Program and Expenditure Plan that funds new or different patterns of service that contribute to informing the mental health system of care as to best or promising practices that can be subsequently added or incorporated into the system. The innovative programs for Contra Costa Mental Health are developed by an ongoing community program planning process that is sponsored by the Consolidated Planning Advisory Workgroup through its Innovation Committee.
These innovative programs accomplish one or more of the following objectives; i) increase access to underserved groups, ii) increase the quality of services, to include better outcomes, iii) promote interagency collaboration, and iv) increase access to services.
Workforce Education and Training
Workforce Education and Training is the component of the Three Year Program and Expenditure Plan that includes staff development through education and training, workforce activities including career pathway development, and financial incentive programs for current and prospective Contra Costa Mental Health employees, and contractor agency staff. The purpose of this component is to develop and maintain a diverse mental health workforce capable of providing consumer and family-driven services that are compassionate, culturally and linguistically responsive, and promote wellness, recovery and resilience across healthcare systems and community-based settings.
The County's Workforce, Education and Training Component Plan was developed and approved in May 2009, with subsequent yearly updates. Funds and activities allocated for the next three fiscal years are in the categories of 1) Workforce Staffing Support, 2) Training and Technical Assistance, 3) Mental Health Career Pathway Programs, 4) Residency, Internship Programs, and 5) Financial Incentive Programs.
Capital Facilities/Information Technology
The Capital Facilities/Information Technology component of the Mental Health Services Act enables counties to utilize MHSA funds on a one-time basis for major infrastructure costs necessary to i) implement MHSA services and supports, and ii) generally improve support to the County's community mental health service system. The County completed an extensive community program planning process related to capital facility outlays and information technology needs, and received approval from the State in 2010 to spend up to $10 million, $6 million for an electronic health record system specific to mental health needs, and $4 million for construction of a facility to house an Assessment and Recovery Center. In the fiscal year 2011-12 MHSA Plan Update the construction of a 16 bed crisis residential facility (Hope House) was approved and added as a Capital Facilities project.
For more information:
Mental Health Services Act
Contra Costa Mental Health Administration
1340 Arnold Drive, Suite 200
Martinez, CA 94553