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Prevention and Early Intervention Program

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)


Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs were designed to include meaningful involvement and engagement of diverse communities, potential individual participants, their families and community partners. Programs and projects were developed to build capacity for providing prevention and intervention services related to mental health at sites where people go for other routine activities (e.g. education facilities, community based organizations, ethnic specific cultural centers, health providers).

In May 2009, the California Department of Mental Health approved the Contra Costa County MHSA Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Plan which consists of nine programs addressing four key community mental health needs and specific priority populations: Fostering Resilience in Communities Initiative, Fostering Resilience in Older Adults, Fostering Resilience in Children and Families, and Fostering Resilience in Youth/Young Adults Initiative.

Program Summary

1. Building Connections in Underserved Communities

focuses on strengthening underserved cultural communities in ways that are relevant to specific communities, with the purpose of increasing wellness, reducing stress and isolation, and decreasing the likelihood of needing services of many types, and to help support strong youth and strong families.

2. Coping with Trauma Related to Community Violence

provides community organizing and a proactive approach to community violence. Raises awareness, engages in culture-building activities, celebrates resilience, creates opportunities for healing and restoration and convenes public forums to respond to specific incidences of violence within the West Contra Costa community.

3. Reducing Stigma and Awareness Education

implements the WREACH (Wellness and Recovery Education for Acceptance, Choice, and Hope) Speakers' Bureau. Speakers include consumers, family members, and providers, who share their experiences and facts about mental illness and recovery to decrease stigma and increase social inclusion in the community. The Committee for Social Inclusion guides a stigma reduction and awareness initiative.

4. Suicide Prevention

has been an important focus for both our system of care and within our community. Our original Stakeholder Work Group and Steering Committee recognized the need for a suicide prevention effort that was universal at one level and targeted to particularly high risk populations at another. A Suicide Prevention Committee was established to create a comprehensive suicide prevention plan for Contra Costa County. Under this initiative we were able to expand the language and cultural capacity of our crisis line provider, Contra Costa Crisis Center, and have been able to sponsor training on suicide prevention.

5. Supporting Older Adults

in underserved cultural populations who are trauma exposed, isolated, depressed and experiencing onset of serious psychiatric illness. The purpose of the program is to help provide early intervention when warning signs appear, linkage to appropriate community resources in a culturally competent manner, and prevent mental illness and suicide.

6. Parent Education & Support

programs offer effective parenting skills, family communication, health identities/family values, child growth and self-esteem development to caregivers who have responsibility to care for atrisk children and youth in order to reduce incidence of child and substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, gang violence, behavioral problems and emotional disturbances.

7. Supporting Families Experiencing the Juvenile Justice System

provides individual and family supports to help the youth become strong, healthy, law abiding members of their communities. Early screening of youth identified as needing mental health support leads to better coordination of after care that assures appropriate linkages to services and supports as youth transition back into their communities. The treatment staff provide direct short term therapy and facilitate warm hand-offs to Community Based Organizations and to County MH Systems.

8. Supporting Families Experiencing Mental Illness

provides peer-based programming for adults in recovery from psychiatric disorders to develop support networks, life and vocational skills training, respite and stress reduction for caregivers, restorative community for their loved ones, support for recovery, independence, increased socialization, education, and employment support.

9. Youth Development

increases prevention efforts for at risk youth, responding to early signs of emotional and behavioral health problems, strength-based efforts that build on youths' assets and foster resiliency, as well as to help youth build knowledge and concrete life skills, development of a positive identity, self-esteem and positive community involvement.

10. First Hope: Early Identification & Intervention to Prevent Psychosis

Family-centered intervention for young people, ages 12-25, with early symptoms of psychosis with the aim of preventing the development of psychotic illness through community outreach and education, intensive early assessment and treatment, psychoeducation, psychiatric management, and supported education and employment.