As we mentioned last week, representatives of CSAP, NCPS, OCPS, and SDPS participated in a stakeholder meeting with representatives of the State Department of Health Care Services and Manatt Health to discuss gaps in California’s behavioral health system and the continuum of care. This was one of multiple stakeholder groups being convened by DHCS and Manatt. CSAC and the DBs were joined by representatives of the California Medical Association, the California Hospital Association, and the California Psychological Association. Other groups will include state hospitals, the County Behavioral Health Directors Association, community-based providers, tribal interests, consumers, and substance abuse providers. These stakeholder meetings will lead to the release of a report in November. We have learned that written feedback in this process will be most effective if it is submitted by the end of September. Thanks to all the members who have submitted comments to CSAP thus far. We have been asked specifically for any / all thoughts about diversion options from acute care. For any of you who haven’t yet replied, but might, please respond to Paul Yoder sooner than later.
Simultaneously, we are also hearing about some efforts by counties on new and / or expanded facilities that started even before this new effort by the State. For example:
Solano County –
The County of Solano (County) plans to purchase and renovate approximately 12 modular units, which will be placed on county-owned land, to develop a 16-bed licensed Residential Mental Health Diversion Program (RMHDP). RMHDP is anticipated to provide mental health treatment to a target population of 16-20 justice-involved adult individuals annually as an alternative to incarceration. Justice-involved individuals will be screened for criminogenic risk factors so that services are targeted to moderate and high-risk individuals, with most clients having co-occurring disorders. The RMHDP will achieve individualized wellness and recovery through intensive mental health treatment with a strengths-based approach. Currently, there are no licensed treatment beds for the target population in the County; clients requiring this level of care are transferred to contracted beds outside the County.
Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Merced Counties –
The Stanislaus County, San Joaquin County, and Merced County behavioral health departments are developing a joint initiative to address the significant shortage of mental health treatment beds for homeless individuals suffering from mental illness in the region. The Regional Partnership would enable all three counties to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and analysis. This would include conducting a housing needs assessment to identify current capacity and system gaps, focusing on needs around the transitional enhanced board and care. The three counties hope to create efficiencies through regional administrative infrastructure. The long-term goal of the assessment and analysis would be to determine if a board and care facility could be established that would be shared between the three counties.
Again, these undertakings were occurring even before the Governor put $3 billion in the state budget for the continuum of care. No doubt more public entities – and private ones too – will reevaluate their brick and mortar possibilities with the new funding opportunity.