Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation Project Plans Approved!

On July 28th, we presented three innovative project plans to the State of California, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). All three projects were approved and will now move forward to implementation.   Thank you to those that provided testimony at the MSOAC meeting and shared their stories and experiences in support of these projects.  A few highlights on each project are included below.

  • The Health Ambassador Program for Youth (HAP-Y), a project that will adapt, pilot and evaluate a psycho-educational process (based on an adult Health Ambassador Program) to train youth ages 16-25 as ambassadors for mental health awareness, stigma reduction and in turn increase access to mental health services.  The project will be administered by StarVista, who’s role includes supporting the youth post ymhfa-1.jpggraduation with opportunities to engage in community presentations, outreach, advisory roles, etc.
    • Special thank you to Yolanda Ramirez, current Health Ambassador and Family Partner with BHRS for her sharing her personal and heart-felt testimony in support of at-risk youth and to Narges Zohoury Dillon, Program Director at StarVista for sharing her professional experience with youth advocates and youth in crisis, in support of HAP-Y.
  • The LGBTQ Behavioral Health Coordinated Services Center (The Center) will provide a coordinated approach across mental health treatment, recovery and  supports forLGBTQ high risk LGBTQ communities and include the collaboration of multiple agencies. The Center will include a space where groups, events and other activities will be held and feature the coordination of three components; 1) a social and community component; 2) a clinical component; and 3) a resource component.
    • Thank you to Anthony Ross, Outlet Director for Adolescent Counseling Services for sharing his heart-felt personal and professional testimony in support of transgender and gender non conforming and high risk individuals.
  • The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) within an Adult Service System will adapt, pilot and evaluate the application of the NMT approach (primarily used with youth) to an adult population, within the BHRS Adult System of Care. NMT locates the neurobiological reason for an individual’s behavioral problems and, if appropriate, provides a holistic approach integrated with multiple forms of targeted therapies that may include music, dance, yoga, drumming, therapeutic massage, etc.

To learn more about these projects, final Project Briefs are available on the MHSA website, www.smchealth.org/bhrs/mhsa.