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

NEW MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT FUNDING FOR BERKELEY AND ALBANY

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, February 22, 2011) - Funding is available from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for Capital Facilities, Technological Needs and Statewide Prevention and Early Intervention efforts.  In order to receive funding allocations, 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 30-day public comment period and a public hearing before the Mental Health Commission, the proposals will be submitted to the State Department of Mental Health for approval.  Funds must be used in accordance with state guidelines and MHSA regulations. 

The following two draft plans will be entering the public review period, Capital Facilities Technological Needs and PEI Statewide Projects.  Within the proposed plans, primary recommendations include: building upgrades and renovations to the Berkeley Mental Health Adult Services clinic; acquisition and implementation of Electronic Health Records; access for consumers to computer resources and health information; and collaborative efforts with Alameda County for increased preventative services and supports in area schools, universities and local communities.

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 three of the five funding components (Community Services and Supports, Prevention & Early Intervention and Workforce, Education and Training). An area developer was also granted state approval to access MHSA funds for local housing development.  

The 30-day Public Comment period for this proposal will run from February 22nd to March 23rd, 2011.  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.CityofBerkeley.info/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 March 24th 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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