Saturday, 13 April 2024

Lake County receives more than $400,000 in mental health services funds

LAKE COUNTY – Late last week, a total of more than $6.2 million in California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) was awarded for mental health services in Lake, Mendocino, Mono and San Bernardino counties.

Lake County will receive $410,000, while $187,409 was approved for Mendocino County in prevention and early intervention funds. Another $24,000 was approved for Mono County and $5.6 million was approved for San Bernardino County in innovation funds.

The California MHSOAC is a 16-member commission charged with the oversight of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The MHSA was approved by California voters in 2004 as Proposition 63 to provide for expanded mental health services in California.

“Prevention and early intervention programs will transform the mental health system. We will stop requiring consumers to “fail first” before receiving services and we will move to a “help first” system,” said MHSOAC Chair Andrew Poat. “Prevention and early intervention programs are a new approach to mental health in California. This program is a win for both mental health consumers and taxpayers.”

Prevention and early intervention (PEI) funds are approved for programs that apply strategies focused on preventing mental illness from becoming severe and disabling.

“Our prevention programs will decrease expensive emergency room visits as we provide prevention services to consumers of mental health services,” Poat said. “Prevention and early intervention funds will keep kids in school, keep families together, and will avoid long term unemployment.”

Lake County plans on using their PEI funds for eight prevention and early intervention projects. Project 2 will provide one-on-one attention to children who may be facing personal and social adjustment issues.

Mendocino County will use their PEI funds for four projects. Mendocino’s Project 3 expands existing services to include isolated American Indians and Latinos. This project uses culturally appropriate senior peers who have established relationships in these communities.

The funds approved by the MHSOAC for innovation (INN) purposes will help fund county mental health programs that are novel, creative, and ingenious in their mental health approaches. These programs are also developed within communities in ways that are inclusive and representative.

“Innovation funds will help to jump start our thinking about how to improve our mental health programs,” said Poat.

Mono County will be using their innovation funds for their Peapod Innovation Program, which will test a different approach to increase the effectiveness of support groups in English and Spanish for diverse new parents countywide.

San Bernardino County plans on using their Innovation funds, for four different programs. One of these programs, the Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation Program (CASE), will develop a model of comprehensive and collaborative care that facilitates a safe haven and clinical rehabilitation for exploited children who are drawn into prostitution.

The MHSOAC met on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the California Institute for Mental Health in downtown Sacramento.

This MHSOAC meeting is one of many commission meetings that take place around the state. The intent of these meetings is to conduct business where the public can have access to the commission and where the commission can bring information regarding mental health oversight and accountability to the public.

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