By Marcel Harris, NAMI California Advocacy Manager
I’m excited to share that our 2019 NAMI CA MHSA County Programs Report is published. NAMI California is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with local County Behavioral Health Directors and MHSA staff on this year’s report, “Collaboration Improving Lives & Giving Hope,” which outlines the various community-based mental health services funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). MHSA is the initiative measure passed by California voters as Proposition 63 in 2004 that imposes a 1% tax on incomes that exceed $1,000,000 and requires that the revenue from that tax be deposited in the Mental Health Services Fund in support of county mental health programs.
To obtain data for the 2019 MHSA report, NAMI California contacted each of the 59 County Behavioral Health Departments in early spring, asking the departments to provide information on community-based mental health services they funded. Our annual report can be used to bolster future MHSA plans and identify future collaboration opportunities. Our intention is for this report to be used in strengthening community partnerships in the shift towards recovery-oriented mental health services.
While this report is primarily a directory for those seeking services in their county, it can also be used to increase access and advocate for the expansion of mental health services. We know we need to develop better local mental health plans that address gaps in service and we need to sustain and increase robust stakeholder engagements in order to do this. Given recent changes to MHSA (SB 389), it is imperative stakeholders actively engage with the local planning process and help shape future mental health services, programs, and supports and leverage resources to meet gaps in care.
MHSA was intended to transform the public mental health system, not only through the generation of new revenue to fund the expansion of services, but also by requiring ongoing stakeholder input and involvement at all levels of public mental health policy, program planning, implementation, monitoring, quality improvement, evaluation, and budget allocations.
That’s where you come in: Look into what your county is doing and help us shape future plans.
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