For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

PROPOSED USE FOR CITY OF BERKELEY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT
Prevention & Early Intervention Statewide Project Fund Balance

Berkeley, California (Friday, June 29, 2012) - Your input and comments are invited on the following recommendations to allocate the remaining City of Berkeley Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prevention & Early Intervention (PEI) Statewide Project funds to projects in the current approved plan.

Current Status
As part of the MHSA, the California Department of Mental Health (DMH) designated PEI Statewide Project funds to all mental health jurisdictions for initiatives on suicide prevention, stigma and discrimination, and student mental health. The total funding amount for the City of Berkeley is $511,600. Funding allocations are only accessible through one of the following options: Joining a Joint Powers Authority (JPA); creating a Multi-County Collaborative; or assigning funds back to DMH.

Upon evaluating the available options to access funds with the MHSA Oversight Committees in each jurisdiction, the City of Berkeley and Alameda County determined it was in the best interest of both programs to establish a Multi-County Collaborative so that funds from each locale could be combined and utilized on joint initiatives. The original plan was developed in January 2011 and approved in March 2011 after a 30-day public review. The plan allocated $201,565 of the Berkeley PEI money to projects including: Crisis Intervention Training for Law Enforcement; Wellness Workshops for clients; Peer Mentorship Programs; Mental Health Consultation in Schools and Colleges, and; Suicide Prevention/Intervention trainings.

The proposed plan update will allocate the remaining funds in the amount of $310,035 to projects approved in the original plan.

Background
Voters approved the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) in November 2004. This Act places a 1% tax on every dollar of personal income over $1 million. The State allocates these revenues to public 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 planning processes and obtained state approvals and funding on all five components. PEI Statewide Project inititatives have also been implemented through a Multi-County Collaborative with Alameda County, and two area developers have been granted local and state approval to access MHSA funds for local housing developments. The 30-Day Public Review and Comment period will run from June 27th to July 26th, 2012.

For detailed information on how to review and provide feedback on the proposed recommendations, the public is invited to view the Berkeley Mental Health MHSA website at: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=15648.

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