November 2004, California voters approved Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which became effective on January 1, 2005.
The purpose of the MHSA is to improve the lives of those adults afflicted with serious and persistent mental illness, and children with serious emotional disturbances by transforming the public mental health system.
Funds come from a 1% tax on California taxpayer's whose taxable income exceeds one million dollars. They are deposited into an MHSA Fund and may not be used for any other purposes.
Counties are required to maintain their mental health budgets, regulated by the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and may not supplant existing funding with MHSA dollars.
MHSA consists of six components, Community Services and Supports (CSS), Workforce, Education and Training (WET), Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI), Capital Facilities and Technological Needs, MHSA Housing, and Innovative Programs.
For FY 2005-06 and 2006-07 Orange County received approximately $25.5 million per year in CSS funding.
In FY 07/08 the County receive approximately $9 million in CSS Growth Funding due to increased tax revenues.
Local Planning for Community Services & Supportive Services (CSS)
In 2005, a countywide community Planning process was implemented. The process included: 42 community information meetings, six meetings of a 59-member Steering Committee, five workgroup meetings for each of the DMH-designated age groups, focus groups, and stakeholder meetings.
The Plan underwent a 30-day public comment period; approved by the Mental Health Board (after a public hearing attended by close to 500 people), and unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Following this extensive Planning process, Orange County submitted its three-year expenditure Plan for mental health Community Services and Supports to the DMH in December 2005.
After reviewing the Plan DMH notified Orange County that the Plan was approved on April 28, 2006.
Sixteen new programs were proposed, including Full Service Partnerships (FSP) for each designated age group.
CSS Program Highlights: Initial Plan
$9.4 million: One-time funding to establish permanent and transitional housing for individuals with mental illness.
$5.1 million: One-time funding to train mental health consumers and their families, professional staff, and community partners (police, school personnel, criminal justice system, social services staff, etc.) on topics, such as early identification of mental illness, cultural competency, best practices, benefits acquisition, increasing consumer and family participation in the mental health workforce.
$13.3 million: Annually for FSP programs that provide intensive case management, 24/7 coverage, a "whatever it takes" approach to support each client on his/her road to recovery.
$3.5 million: Annually for crisis residential services, which will provide seriously emotionally disturbed/seriously mentally ill individuals in acute psychiatric crisis with an alternative to hospitalization.
$1.5 million: Annually for outreach and engagement services to historically un-served and underserved populations, especially ethnic and linguistic minorities.
Orange County was notified by DMH that the County could apply for an additional $8 million in CSS funding for FY 2008/09.
Orange County developed a Plan for the use of these funds; which was approved by the Steering Committee.
The Plan includes additional funds for ten existing CSS programs and funds for three new MHSA programs: Adult Peer Mentoring, Older Adult Peer Mentoring, and a Wellness/Peer Support program.
Most CSS services have or will be contracted out; however, HCA does provides some services.
HCA uses a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select providers.
A Planning committee was formed to provide guidance for the implementation of a Wellness Center.
HCA worked with Orange County Community Services and broke ground at Diamond Aisle, a 25-unit project in Anaheim. Permanent housing opportunities are being looked into.
Children & Youth Services: a FSP (RENEW); Outreach and Engagement (Children and TAY), an In-Home Crisis Stabilization Program, and a Crisis Residential Program.
Transitional Age Youth: a FSP (STAY); Outreach and Engagement.
Adults: FSP's Opportunity Knocks (OK); Telecare And Orange (TAO); Whatever it Takes Court (WIT Court), a Centralized Assessment Team (CAT), a Psychiatric Evaluation Response Team (PERT), a supported employment program, Employment Works; and Adult Outreach and Engagement services.
Older Adults: Mental Health Recovery Program Services titled Mental Health Recovery; and Older Adult Support & Intervention System (OASIS) a FSP.
Other MHSA Components
Workforce, Education and Training: Orange County has drafted a Plan with nineteen separate programs covering all ages and types of allowable activities. The Plan was approved by the Mental Health Board at a Public Hearing held on May 8, 2008. Cultural competency training, training to enable mental health consumers to enter the labor force, and training on consumer culture have been and are currently being provided.
Capital Facilities: Guidelines have been issued by DMH. The Steering Committee approved the use of 20% of the funds for Technological Needs and 80% of the funds for Capital Facilities projects. A site on Tustin Avenue in the City of Orange has been identified for building three new facilities: a Wellness/ Peer Support Center, a Crisis Residential Program, and a Vocational Education Center.
Technology Needs: Guidelines have been issued by DMH. The majority of the Technology Funding will be used to develop an Electronic Health Record-"lite."
MHSA Housing: Housing allocations have been posted. Orange County will receive a total of $33,158,300. About a third of those funds may be used for operating costs. Two thirds must be used for acquiring and rehabbing residential properties. Applications are available on the DMH website.
Prevention and Early Intervention: Guidelines are available on the DMH website. Orange County was awarded about $2 million in PEI Community Planning Funding. The MHSA Steering Committee has decided that 75% of PEI funds will be allocated to serve the 0-25 age group. An extensive number of focus groups and surveys are being conducted to gather community input.
OC Network of Care
The website serves as a resource for individuals, families, and agencies concerned with mental health issues. Some information is available in several languages. Types of information included are: Services, Insurance, Personal Folders, Articles, Legislation, and Links to private and public agencies. Web Address: orange.networkofcare.org
For more information, please contact the MHSA Office,Call 714-667-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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