Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Karen Klatt, MHSA Coordinator , (510) 981-5222

MHSA INNOVATION FUNDS AVAILABLE IN BERKELEY AND ALBANY

Berkeley, California (Friday, January 20, 2012) - Funding is available from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for innovative programs to be implemented in the cities of Berkeley and Albany.

In order to receive funding, the City of Berkeley must initiate a 30-day public comment period to obtain input from the community on the proposed uses of funds.  Following the review period and a public hearing before the Mental Health Commission, the proposed plan will be locally approved and implemented. Funds must be used in accordance with state guidelines and MHSA regulations. 

The City of Berkeley is entering a 30 Day Public Review for the Draft MHSA Innovations Plan.  The Innovations Plan provides time-limited funding for pilot projects that increase learning in the Mental Health field around any of the following: increasing access to services for all populations, or for specific underserved populations; promoting interagency collaborations; increasing the quality of mental health services, including better outcomes.  Primary recommendations include:  creating an effective community re-entry project for Ex-Offenders and Veterans; reducing isolation in Senior Citizens through the introduction of and supports around new technologies; implementing a Community Empowerment Academy for African Americans in the South Berkeley area; increasing access to and the quality of services for the Asian Pacific Islander population and LGBTQ individuals through a co-location of services at multiple venues; improving the physical and emotional well-being in Mental Health clients through collaborations with area Board and Care facilities and a local Culinary School; instituting a holistic health care center for Transition Age Youth.

Background

MHSA is California state legislation approved by voters in November 2004.  This Act places a 1% 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.  There are five MHSA funding components.  Additional monies are also available for housing and Statewide Prevention and Early Intervention initiatives.  In recent years, the City of Berkeley has conducted extensive community planning processes and obtained state approvals and local funding on four of the five funding components (Community Services and Supports, Prevention & Early Intervention; and Workforce, Education and Training; and Capital Facilities and Technological Needs). An area developer was also granted approval to access MHSA funds to develop, Harmon Gardens, a permanent housing facility for Transition Age Youth and another local housing development project for Adults and Older adults is pending approval.

The 30-day Public Comment period for this proposal will run from Thursday, January 19th through Friday, February 17th.  For more detailed information on how to review and provide feedback on the draft recommendations, the public is invited to view the Berkeley Mental Health MHSA website at:

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=15648

In addition, a copy of this proposal will be available in the reference section of the Public Library located in downtown Berkeley at 2090 Kittredge Street.  The Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, February 23rd at 7:00pm in the Adult Clinic Auditorium at 2640 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Following the Public Hearing, a final proposal will be locally approval and projects will be implemented.

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