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Mental Health Services Act annual update draft now available

The Mental Health Services Act draft Annual Update, 2017-18 is now available for public review and comment through March 7, according to Aimee Heaney, MHSA Coordinator with Plumas County Behavioral Health.

These documents are posted online on the County’s Behavioral Health MHSA webpage. Click on the Behavioral Health MHSA tab to view the draft.

Copies of the draft will be available upon request at the Behavioral Health County Annex office, at community Wellness Centers in Chester, Greenville, Portola and the Plumas County Behavioral Health Drop-In Center in Quincy, and at local libraries.

The Plumas County MHSA program is accepting stakeholder feedback on this annual update through Wednesday, March 7. An additional opportunity for public comment will be available during a public hearing by the Behavioral Health Commission at its regular meeting March 7 at noon in the Plumas County Planning and Building Department’s meeting room at 555 Main St. in Quincy.

In addition to the draft update, there is an accompanying attachment, the MHSA Innovation Project’s PUSD Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Handbook – Youth At Risk, which was adopted by the school board in June 2017.

Anyone who would like a copy of the draft Annual Update and any attachments delivered or mailed to you, reply to [email protected].

The purpose of the Annual Update is to describe program changes to the current MHSA Program and Expenditure Plan, 2017-20, to county stakeholders and to allow for stakeholder feedback on Behavioral Health’s efforts to improve service delivery to consumers living with a severe mental illness and their families, in addition to program updates on prevention and early Intervention programming. These goals include collaboration with the organization’s full-service partnership programs, and workforce, education, and training efforts.

According to Heaney, this community planning process attempts to broaden and deepen the involvement of multiple stakeholders on local behavioral health policy, service improvement to unserved and underserved populations, and MHSA program evaluation.

The report noted that there is a need for improved senior care, cultural sensitivity training for healthcare staff across agencies and a need for increased translation services for non-English speaking patients.

MHSA funding helps support local Plumas County Community Wellness and Family Resource Centers, where clinical services are provided in the consumer’s home community, as well as access to wellness activities, PCIRC resource supports and behavioral health peer-to-peer support.

In addition, stronger connections and increased opportunities for social interactions are addressed; examples of wellness activities that may be offered include improved access to adult education and basic life skills classes and for increased access to healthy food options that are affordable, as well as strong social supports.

Other areas of concern listed in the report include helping others to improve their quality of life, overcoming stress, eliminating alcohol and drug use that have negative impacts on adolescents, lack of awareness of existing resources, difficulty navigating available resources and access to health services, such as too few primary care providers.  Transportation is crucial and often remains a barrier to accessing services by seniors and others.

MHSA also seeks to address mental health issues through prevention and early intervention programming by focusing on at-risk adolescent behaviors to reduce suicide, depression and feelings of hopelessness among children and youth.

The report includes a section on the need for sober community environments that are safe and clean, plus affordable and ongoing activities for all community members.

The MHSA Program and Expenditure Plan, 2017-2020 and the Annual Update, 2017-2018 were designed to address these issues and to prioritize the needs of the community during the MHSA community and stakeholder process.

Referring to the online report, Heaney said all components integrate MHSA’s five guiding principles for consumer and family involvement: culturally responsive, community collaboration, integrated service delivery, and wellness and recovery.

The community and stakeholder process is crucial for ongoing planning, communication of outcomes, and achieving community-based behavioral health services that are responsive to local consumers, Heaney said,

If you have any questions concerning the plan, submitting public comment or participating in the public hearing process, call Aimee Heaney at 283-6307, ext. 1016, or e-mail [email protected].

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