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

Head with gears inside drawn on a chalkboard

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).

Multi-County FSP Innovation Progress Report

March 2021

Third Sector and The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission released a progress report on California’s Multi-County Full Service Partnership Innovation Project designed to improve delivery of services to people with the most severe and often co-occurring mental health needs. Read on for an update on project progress, stakeholder engagement, and lessons learned from the first year of the Multi-County FSP Innovation Project.

Resources

July 2021: Learnings from the Field: Best Practices for Transitioning from Full Service Partnership Programs to Lower Levels of Care
Third Sector interviewed mental health experts, advocates, and researchers across the country to identify consumer readiness indicators and the most promising practices for stepping consumers down to less intensive outpatient mental health programs. This memorandum synthesizes recommendations from national experts and identifies opportunities for California counties and mental health services providers across the country alike to continuously improve service delivery and consumer outcomes. 

June 7, 2021: California Learning Community Convening 
Third Sector and Multi-County FSP Innovation Project participants welcomed more than 90 service providers, behavioral health professionals and mental health advocates from across the state to learn about the work of six California County Behavioral Health Departments — Fresno, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Siskiyou, and Ventura Counties — who have been working collaboratively to implement a more uniform and data-driven approach to Full-Service Partnership (FSP) programs to enhance counties’ ability to use data to improve services and client outcomes. Review this video recording of the plenary session and these presentation materials to learn more about Project and Third Sector’s efforts to transform public systems to advance improved and equitable outcomes.

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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