Six California County Behavioral Health Departments are Authorized for Full Service Partnership (FSP) Multi-County Collaborative Innovation Project

On June 5, 2020, California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) approved a group of California counties to spend state funds designated for innovative projects on the Full Service Partnership (FSP) FSP Multi-County Collaborative Innovation Project. FSP is a community-based program for individuals experiencing severe mental illness with 48,331 clients enrolled across the state (FY 2016-17). 

Third Sector congratulates MHSOAC and the six counties for authorizing state innovation dollars towards systems-change for a critical mental health program! The six counties in the FSP Multi-County Collaborative Innovation Project are:

  • Fresno County
  • Sacramento County
  • San Bernardino County
  • San Mateo County 
  • Siskiyou County
  • Ventura County

“Full-Service Partnerships represent a $1 billion investment in public funds each year, and have tremendous potential to reduce hospitalizations, homelessness, incarceration and prolonged suffering by Californians with severe mental health needs,” said Toby Ewing, executive director of the Mental Health Service Oversight and Accountability Commission. “The diligent and creative efforts by the participating counties, with technical support from Third Sector, is a demonstration of how collaborative efforts can drive transformational change in the delivery of mental health services.”

"It is so rewarding to see fellow counties moving in the same direction with FSP, which I would argue to be the most important single clinical program in the state for those most severely impacted by mental illness.” said Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH). “At the end of the day, FSP is the meat and potatoes of public mental health in California, so why not make it the best it can possibly be."

"Ventura County Behavioral Health is excited to be joining this Innovation Project. Our original interest grew out of the work that Third Sector and LACDMH started," said Kiran Sahota, Senior Behavioral Health Manager, Ventura County Behavioral Health. "To have multiple counties step up and take a statewide look towards improvement for our clients is unprecedented. We look forward to moving towards system wide change and collaboration."

With support from MHSOAC and California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), Third Sector has begun developing a landscape assessment to understand current assets and opportunities for FSP. Third Sector will then help counties prioritize and roll out new improvement strategies that meet the project’s goals to: 

  1. Develop a shared understanding and more consistent interpretation of FSP’s core components across counties, creating a common FSP framework
  2. Increase the clarity and consistency of enrollment criteria, referral, and graduation processes through developing and disseminating clear tools and guidelines across stakeholders
  3. Improve how counties define, track, and apply priority outcomes across FSP programs
  4. Develop a clear strategy for tracking outcomes and performance measures through various state-level and county-specific reporting tools
  5. Develop new and/or strengthen existing processes for continuous improvement that leverage data to foster learning, accountability, and meaningful performance feedback

“Leveraging an initiative that was developed by Los Angeles County, in collaboration with Ballmer Group and Third Sector, these forward-thinking California counties are coming together to lead the state and nation through innovative approaches to transform the delivery of critical mental health services,” explained Caroline Whistler, CEO of Third Sector. “Third Sector is proud to partner with California counties as they build out a new model that will ensure better outcomes for some of their most marginalized community members.”

In addition to engaging county and state agency partners, Third Sector will lead engagement efforts with current FSP providers and clients to ensure these stakeholders’ expertise informs the new strategies that project partners implement. This project builds on learnings and tools developed through Third Sector’s partnership with Ballmer Group and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. The nonprofit research organization RAND Corporation will provide evaluation services for the project to measure multi-year impacts. Third Sector’s support for counties will run through November 2021.