For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Ager, Planning Assistant, (510) 981-5222
PUBLIC HEARING ANNOUNCED ON COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PLAN
Berkeley, California (Monday, January 09, 2006) - The Mental Health Services Act (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 city and county mental health departments for the purpose of transforming and expanding mental health services.
Since planning efforts by staff and stakeholders for the MHSA began last year, Berkeley Mental Health has held 68 outreach meetings, delivered over 345 surveys, and collected nearly 2,000 comments from the community about mental health needs and service suggestions. The result is the Community Services and Supports draft plan.
Berkeley’s draft CSS Plan has been submitted for public comment and a public hearing will be held on Monday, January 9th at 2:00pm at the City of Berkeley Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. This hearing is sponsored by the Berkeley/Albany Mental Health Commission, and will be televised through Berkeley Community Media on local channel 33.
One of the key factors shaping CSS services was an emphasis on reaching those who currently do not access services. Data shows that Asians and Latinos are under-represented in the treatment population of Berkeley Mental Health, and this is true across Alameda County. Transition age youth are the most un-served age group closely followed by adults over 65. Emphasis has been placed on reaching those populations in the Berkeley plan.
Over $315 million has been made available to public mental health programs through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The City of Berkeley is currently in negotiations with the State Department of Mental Health regarding the allocation
For more information, the public is invited to view the MHSA website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/mentalhealth/prop63.html