For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Klatt Karen, Mental Health, (510) 981-5222

CITY OF BERKELEY TO RECEIVE INCREASED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT COMMUNITY SERVICES AND SUPPORTS FUNDS FOR UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, June 23, 2009) - Increased funding is now available from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to expand the Community Services & Supports (CSS) Plan for the cities of Berkeley & Albany.  Local mental health programs are eligible to receive an additional $1,404,900 for the upcoming fiscal year.

In order to receive the additional allocation, the City of Berkeley must initiate a 30-day public comment period to obtain input from the community on the proposed use of funds.  Following the 30-day public review and a public hearing before the Mental Health Commission, the proposal will be submitted to the State Department of Mental Health for approval.  Funds must be used in accordance with state regulations and the City of Berkeley's approved CSS Plan. 

Primary recommendations include: increased services and supports for individuals with serious mental illness; additional nursing, advocacy, housing, and peer positions; and increased wellness and recovery services.

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 with CSS being the largest, and the first component funded by the State. Following MHSA regulations, in 2005, the City of Berkeley conducted an extensive planning process involving staff to develop its CSS Plan.  In September 2006, the CSS Plan was approved.  Currently the City of Berkeley receives $1.2 million annually in CSS funds.

The 30-day Public Comment period for this proposal will run from June 23rd to July 22nd 2009.  For more detailed information on how to review and provide feedback on the draft recommendations, the public is invited to view the MHSA website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/mentalhealth

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 July 23rd at 5:00 pm in the Adult Clinic Auditorium at 2640 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Following the Public Hearing, a final proposal will be submitted for approval to the State Department of Mental Health.

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