Are Prevention and Early Intervention Programs Working?

“We said from the very beginning that the goal of Prop 63 [aka Mental Health Services Act] is to reverse the numbers. Where as, 20% every year is required to be spent on prevention and early intervention and 80% on the backend necessary services, if we do this right, twenty years from now, thirty years from now we’ll be spending 80% on on prevention and early intervention and then only have to spend 20% on services for people who did not get the help early enough.” – Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg

A recent press release from California’s Mental Health Services & Oversight Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) announced that prevention and early intervention programs across the State are working, stating that “hundreds of thousands of Californians at risk of or with early symptoms of mental illness are being helped by Proposition 63’s Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs,” based on a July 2014 study from the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. Find out more about this statewide study by visiting the MHSOAC website.

In San Mateo County, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds over twenty PEI programs including Stigma Free San Mateo County, the Office of Diversity and Equity Health Equity Initiatives, a crisis hotline, school age and transition age youth intervention programs, senior peer counseling, among others.  We are currently evaluating many of these programs and expect to share the results next year.  Want to be notified when the evaluation findings are released? Visit and subscribe to our website www.smchealth.org/bhrs/mhsa to stay up-to-date on the great work funded by MHSA to prevent and treat mental health illness in San Mateo County.