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Mental Health Services Act
Prevention and Early Intervention Planning

Opportunities to Advocate for an Integrated System of Child Care
and Development Programs and Mental Health Services

Los Angeles County Draft Plan for MHSA/PEI Available for Review and Comment

The County of Los Angeles Child Care Planning Committee (Planning Committee), Inclusion Work Group has developed this page and its links as a way to keep the field of child care and development informed and involved in efforts underway to shape planning for the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) component of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). This page provides general information on the MHSA/PEI, including links to the listing of Stakeholder Delegates and a calendar of meetings, a proposed vision for mental health services in child care and development programs and recommended talking points, and links for additional information. Check this site often for updates and, most importantly, be a part of the process to ensure that child care and development is a partner in meeting the mental health needs of the children and families we serve!

Overview of Mental Health Services Act/Prevention and Early Intervention
In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 63, known as the MHSA, which imposes a one percent surcharge on incomes over $1 million to pay for mental health services for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families. As a result, approximately $700 million is available for distribution to local county mental health programs based on each county’s expended capacity, unmet need, and the amount of available funding. Of the estimated allocation to the County ($91,162,800 for 2008-09), at least 51 percent of the PEI funds must be dedicated to children and transition age youth populations and targeted to the following priority populations:

  • Underserved cultural populations
  • Individuals experiencing onset of serious psychiatric illness
  • Children/youth in stressed families
  • Trauma-exposed individuals
  • Children/youth at risk for school failure
  • Children/youth at risk of or experiencing juvenile justice involvement

In addition, the goal is to minimize the following negative outcomes that may result from untreated mental illness:

  • Suicide
  • Incarcerations
  • School failure or dropout
  • Unemployment
  • Prolonged suffering
  • Homelessness
  • Removal of children from their homes

For more detail on the MHSA/PEI and planning at the County level, visit the DMH’s MHSA/PEI Web site at http://dmh.lacounty.info/MHSA/plans/peires.html

The California Department of Mental Health also has a site on Prevention and Early Intervention. For links to the State's PEI documents and resources and to learn about webcasts regarding PEI priorities,visit www.dmh.cahwnet.gov/Prop_63/MHSA/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/default.asp.

Prevention and Early Intervention Planning Process Underway
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) “is undertaking an intensive, inclusive, and multi-faceted approach to developing the County’s Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Plan”. During 2008, DMH will host informational meetings, key informant interviews and focus groups, and community forums. To see the Planning Roadmap, which includes the Planning Stages, Key Participants in Planning Process, PEI Guiding Philosophy, and Resources, click here. The child care and development field is encouraged to participate in the planning process to advocate for the integration of mental health services in programs serving young children and families.

Know the Stakeholder Delegates Representing Young Children!
The County DMH has implemented a Stakeholders Process to serve as an advisory and planning body charged with making recommendations for implementation of the MHSA. The Stakeholder Delegates have been selected from the following groups: DMH, parents, family members, community leaders, law enforcement, and various health service providers throughout the county. Currently, there are 90 Stakeholder Delegates plus their alternates representing five County Commissions and Advisory Councils, eight Service Areas Advisory Committees (SAACs), 11 community advocacy organizations and groups, three community based organizations/foundations, four education institutions and schools, 14 government entities, three health care providers, eight underrepresented ethnic and underserved communities, seven workforce groups, and three at-large.

Stakeholder Delegates may represent very specific constituencies or multiple constituency groups, including (or not) young children and their families. It is safe to assume, however, that most Stakeholder Delegates are probably unfamiliar with child care and development and the potential short and long-term benefits to young children and families that result from partnerships between mental health services and child care and development. As a member of the child care and development community, it is our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our programs and the children and families we serve with all of the Stakeholder Delegates. Click here for the MHSA Stakeholder Delegates Directory for the County of Los Angeles.

Role of Child Care and Development in PEI Planning Process
Beginning in July 2007, a group of individuals representing child development, early intervention, mental health, and social services were convened to initiate a discussion leading to a vision for creating a bridge between child care and development and mental health. Click here to download the draft concept paper, A Vision of Early Mental Health Services in Child Care and Development Settings for Los Angeles County.

Drawing from a number of sources, the Planning Committee’s Inclusion Work Group has drafted a list of recommended Talking Points. The talking points are intended to serve as guides for shaping the PEI planning process to ensure consideration for integrating mental health services with child care and development as a means for identifying and intervening early in mental health concerns of young children and their families. Click here to download the Talking Points.

Get Involved!

1. The child care and development community is strongly encouraged to participate in as many opportunities as possible for providing input into the PEI Plan. To receive information on future PEI meetings and indicate your willingness to participate in a focus group for PEI planning, click here for a copy of the brochure and tear-off, mail-in form. The brochure is also available in Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

2. Become familiar with your local Service Area Advisory Committee (SAAC) by participating in their monthly meetings and informing the membership of child care and development’s role in promoting positive cognitive and social/emotional development of children at risk of mental health concerns. Feel free to download and share copies of A Vision of Early Mental Health Services in Child Care and Development Settings for Los Angeles County with the membership. In addition, the Talking Points may help you provide suggestions for integrating mental health services with child care and development to meet the mental health concerns of young children and their families. Click here for a listing of the SAACs with monthly meeting dates, times and locations.

* SAACs, comprised of consumers, families, service providers, and community members, provide information, advice and recommendations to the County of Los Angeles DMH. The SAACs meet monthly and are open to the public.

3. Know your Stakeholder Delegates.

4.The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), as required under the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), has opened a public review and comment period for the MHSA PEI Plan. The 30-day public review and comment period began May 26, 2009 and will continue through June 24, 2009. Comments must be received prior to June 25, 2009.

The document under review is posted on the LACDMH web site (http://dmh.lacounty.info/mhsa/index.html), and hard copies will be available at the LACDMH PEI Administration, 550 South Vermont Avenue, Room 605, Los Angeles, California 90020. Any member of the public may request a hard copy of the document by contacting the LACDMH at (213) 738-2331.

To provide input, recommendations and comments, please call: (213) 738-2331, Fax: (213) 351-2026, email mhsapei@dmh.lacounty.gov or submit or mail comments to:

County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Administration
550 S. Vermont Avenue, Room 605, Los Angeles CA 90020.

Additional Resources

Office of Child Care, within the Service Integration Branch
of the Chief Executive Office
222 S. Hill St., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 974-4103 Phone – (213) 217-5106 Fax

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