Transforming California counties’ delivery of mental health services

Third Sector and California counties are building a shared vision for outcomes-driven Full Service Partnerships serving individuals with severe mental illness

The Project

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Third Sector is supporting a coalition of California counties seeking to change how they develop, implement, and evaluate critical mental health services into an outcomes-focused, client-centric approach. Counties are exploring data-informed strategies to program design and continuous improvement that build a culture of learning and center equity and the client experience. 

In California, Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs provide comprehensive, community-based services for individuals facing serious life challenges related to mental illness. The FSP program philosophy is to do “whatever it takes” to help individuals on their path to recovery and wellness. FSPs represent a $1 billion annual investment in public funds and have tremendous potential to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, incarceration and prolonged suffering by Californians with severe mental health needs. FSP programming, however, varies greatly from county to county, with different operational definitions and lack of consistent data processes, which makes it challenging to understand and tell a statewide impact story.

A cohort of six diverse counties — Fresno, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Siskiyou, and Ventura — have been working on a 4.5-year Multi-County FSP Innovation Project in partnership with the California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), Third Sector Capital Partners (technical assistance provider), CalMHSA (fiscal intermediary), and RAND Corporation (evaluator).  The project began in 2020 and aims to implement a performance-based approach that provides counties with an increased ability to use data to improve FSP services and outcomes. Counties are leveraging the collective power of a cohort to collaborate on how to provide the most impactful FSP programs and ultimately to drive transformational change in the delivery of mental health services across California.

This effort builds on the data, insights, and tools developed through Third Sector’s partnership with the Ballmer Group and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

For more information, please contact Aurelle Amram (aamram@thirdsectorcap.org) and Nicole Kristy (nkristy@thirdsectorcap.org).

Upcoming Opportunities

Join the Multi-County FSP Innovation Project
Beginning in the summer of 2021, Third Sector hopes to lead a second cohort of counties through a similar process to (1) identify the current state of their respective FSP programs and data systems, (2) improve how counties define, collect, and apply priority outcomes across FSP programs, (3) develop a clear strategy for tracking outcomes and performance measures through various state-level and county-specific reporting tools, and (4) design continuous improvement processes that leverage data to foster learning, accountability, and meaningful performance feedback.  These efforts will build upon the existing work being done in the first FSP cohort and within LA County, leveraging lessons learned and fostering broader statewide collaboration, while also supporting individual county context and priorities. Stanislaus County is already committed to joining this next cohort and welcomes other interested counties.

For further details or questions, please contact Nicole Kristy at Third Sector (nkristy@thirdsectorcap.org) and Martha Cisneros at Stanislaus County (MCisneros@stanbhrs.org).

Resources

March 2021: Multi-County FSP INN Progress Report
Read on for an update on project progress, stakeholder engagement, and lessons learned from the first year of the Multi-County FSP Innovation Project.

March 4, 2021 Webinar: Building a Racial Equity Approach to FSP
On March 4, 2021, Third Sector hosted a webinar focused on efforts to use data to improve cultural competency and racial equity in FSPs. The discussion brought together a diverse array of perspectives from the Departments of Mental/Behavioral Health in San Mateo, Sacramento, and Los Angeles counties, individuals from their respective provider and client communities, and members of the MHSOAC. This webinar was the second in a two-part series to share findings from this project and solicit feedback on how to ensure that these efforts have sustained value for counties and communities across California. Click to see materials and a recording of this webinar.

October 2020 Webinar: Advancing Data-Driven FSPs
On October 27, 2020, Third Sector hosted a webinar in collaboration with the MHSOAC and representatives from the Multi-County FSP Innovation Project. The webinar shared more about the project's efforts to assess FSP programs across six counties and to develop shared practices for using data to create more equitable and successful mental health services and outcomes. The discussion spanned a diverse array of perspectives including the Departments of Behavioral Health in Fresno and San Bernardino counties, individuals from their respective provider and client communities, and members of the MHSOAC. This webinar was the first in a two-part series to share findings from this project and solicit feedback on how to ensure that these efforts have sustained value for counties and communities across California. Click to see materials and a recording of this webinar.

December 2019 California Learning Community
On December 10, 2019, more than 40 participants from 17 California county agencies and the state Mental Health Oversight Commission attended a statewide workshop focusing on building a collective vision for statewide FSP outcomes. Highlights from the convening included an interactive logic model discussion, a root cause analysis activity, and multiple feedback sessions on the structure of future FSP Learning Community workshops.

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