Evaluating the Impact of Prevention and Early Intervention Activities on the Mental Health of California's Population

Evaluating the Impact of Prevention and Early Intervention Activities on the Mental Health of California's Population

Evaluating the Impact of Prevention and Early Intervention Activities on the Mental Health of California's Population

Evaluating the Impact of Prevention and Early Intervention Activities on the Mental Health of California's Population

Excerpt

The Mental Health Services Act, passed by California voters in 2004, provides the funding and framework to expand mental health services to previously underserved populations and all of California’s diverse communities. Twenty percent of the funding was dedicated to prevention and early intervention (PEI) programs and initiatives. The Act also established the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which was given statutory mandates to evaluate how PEI funding was being used, what outcomes have resulted from those investments, and how services and programs could be improved. Consistent with this role, the Commission coordinated with the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to seek development of a statewide framework for evaluating and monitoring the short- and longterm impact of PEI funding on the population of California. CalMHSA selected the RAND Corporation to develop a framework for the statewide evaluation. CalMHSA is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

The information contained in this report should be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders both within and outside the state of California, from organizations and counties implementing PEI programs to policymakers making key funding decisions in this area. It will help stakeholders decide whether and how to evaluate the impact of this historic funding and the existing resources that could be used to support an evaluation.

This document was prepared with the input of stakeholders across the state of California. Fortyeight individual stakeholders were interviewed, including technical subject-matter experts, consumers, and representatives of state and local governments. In addition, members of the CalMHSA Statewide Evaluation Experts (SEE) Team and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission staff and evaluation subcommittee provided input to guide the development of the document and feedback on a draft of the report. The SEE is a diverse group of CalMHSA partners and community members, including CalMHSA board members, representatives of counties of varied sizes, representatives of the California Mental Health Directors Association, a representative from the California Institute for Mental Health, members of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, a representative from the California State Department of Mental Health, individuals with expertise in cultural and diversity issues, behavioral scientists with evaluation expertise, and consumers and family members who have received mental health services.

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