May172012

NAMI California Releases First Comprehensive List of MHSA Funded Programs

Posted by Kassy Perry

The 1,600 programs serve hundreds of thousands of Californians with mental illness in every county

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 17, 2012) – Today, NAMI California released its anticipated report detailing the programs funded by $7 billion dollars generated by California’s historic Prop 63, the “millionaire’s tax.” The extensive report titled, MHSA County Programs 2012: Services Promoting Recovery and Reducing Homelessness, Hospitalization and Incarceration, is a compilation of the 1,600 programs throughout the state funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

The Report outlines programs serving the estimated two million Californians in need of mental health services. One in 12 adults lives with a mental illness and one in 10 children live with a serious emotional disturbance causing significant impairment. Programs include wellness centers, crisis intervention teams, community college pathways, early childhood counseling, parenting skills, treatment for depression, suicide prevention, and transitional programs for people who are homeless. The Report is available at www.namicalifornia.org.

Compiled by NAMI California, the Report lists all programs funded through the MHSA by county. This is the only comprehensive report of MHSA-funded programs and it provides a view into the wide range of programs, services and supports provided by Proposition 63 funds, serving the needs of communities throughout California.

“It is our hope that this Report will help Californians to see the value of MHSA programs,” said Dorothy Hendrickson, President of NAMI California. At a time when state funds formerly dedicated to mental health services are diminishing, NAMI California and its members are concerned about the weakening safety net. The ongoing budget crisis and recession makes our MHSA funds more important than ever. The services provided through these funds have positively affected our stakeholders. That is why NAMI California has advocated for preservation of MHSA funding to safeguard these programs.”

Organized by county, the Report names and describes each MHSA program, those served by the programs, and the names and contact information of county MHSA coordinators. Programs funded through MHSA can help a person with chronic and persistent mental illness toward recovery and a meaningful role in society, reducing the client’s risk of becoming a person who is homeless, incarcerated, hospitalized, dependent, or a forgotten statistic.

“In one way or another, virtually all California families are touched by mental illness. This report validates the vision of California voters who approved Proposition 63, understanding the necessity for more effective programs to help people turn around their lives,” said Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. “Many counties are now seeing significant declines in homelessness, emergency room visits and incarceration of people with mental illness. I applaud NAMI California for its extensive research in compiling this guide to MHSA programs, to assist Californians in finding the services they need.”

As the Report shows, thousands of programs, serving hundreds of thousands of Californians over the past seven years, are available now to help improve the lives of those with serious mental illness. These programs have helped reduce hospitalization, homelessness, suicide, and incarcerations, reaching children, youth, transitional age youth (ages 16-25), adults, older adults, veterans and their family members.

ABOUT NAMI CALIFORNIA

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, California (NAMI California) is the largest membership organization comprised of families and individuals affected by serious mental illness in the state. As a non-profit grassroots organization, it advocates for lives of quality and respect, without discrimination and stigma, and provides leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education, and support throughout California.

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