Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Karen Klatt, Department of Mental Health, (510) 981-5222

CITY OF BERKELEY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT (MHSA) RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

Berkeley, California (Monday, April 28, 2008) - As part of the state approval process, the City of Berkeley is holding a 30-day public review period on recommendations to participate in the state MHSA Housing Program and to establish a Prudent Reserve for MHSA funding in Berkeley and Albany.

The Mental Health Services Act is California state legislation approved by voters in November 2004. This Act places a 1 percent tax on every dollar of personal income over $1 million. The State allocates these revenues to local mental health departments for the purpose of transforming and expanding mental health services.

The Mental Health Services Act has several different funding components being phased in statewide with ongoing program planning and implementation in local communities. Berkeley's first MHSA plan was approved by the state Department of Mental Health in September 2006. Currently, the City of Berkeley receives $1.2 million in MHSA funds.

The plan available for review allocates $251,800 to establish a legally required Prudent Reserve and assigns $1.2 million in new MHSA funds to the California Housing Finance Agency to develop supportive housing for people with serious mental illnesses in Berkeley and Albany.

Thirty day public review periods are required by the Mental Health Services Act before new programs are submitted for state approval, In accordance with state guidelines the 30 day public comment period for the present proposal begins on Tuesday, April 29th.

For detailed information on how to review and provide feedback on the draft recommendations, the public is invited to view the MHSA website at www.cityofberkeley.info/mentalhealth. A copy of the proposed recommendations will also be available for review in the reference section of the Public Library in downtown Berkeley. Following the thirty day review period, a proposal outlining the recommended actions will be submitted for approval to the State Department of Mental Health.

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