Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health Services

Incorporating Consumer Voice in Outcomes Design & System Improvements

Practice Area: Behavioral Health Scope: County Location: CA Status: Active

Project Overview

Sutter-Yuba’s iCARE Innovation Project seeks to increase access to behavioral health care for underserved groups not currently engaged in traditional behavioral health services. Third Sector is supporting outcomes framework design and outcomes impact assessment for iCARE by soliciting and integrating input from consumers to both inform continuous improvement efforts and contribute to consumer-defined recovery metrics.


We believe in a future where people who face behavioral health challenges are treated with dignity and humanity within public systems that exist to provide the resources and support they need to thrive and achieve recovery as they define it for themselves.  In many research and evaluation design processes, behavioral health consumers are often overlooked as a stakeholder group, despite having the most at stake and often holding the least amount of influence in decisionmaking. Lack of meaningful representation in these processes impacts the accuracy of what is measured, addressed, and, ultimately, the consumer's decision on whether or not to participate in and/or continue receiving treatment. 

Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health (SYBH) Services recently launched the Innovative and Consistent Application of Resources and Engagement (iCARE) program, which takes a more meaningful approach to consumer inclusion. iCARE, a new field-based program, uses a relationship-based model to build trust with individuals and connect them to needed services. Third Sector is supporting the SYBH and iCare teams in designing processes based on what recovery means to consumers across all aspects of service delivery, continuous improvement design, and outcomes development. 


To help Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health achieve its aim of more substantive and meaningful consumer inclusion, Third Sector supports Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health and iCARE providers to ensure that consumer empowerment and self-directed care are reflected in the iCARE project outcomes framework and data collection processes. Third Sector is facilitating an empowerment-based,consumer-led process to develop consumer-defined engagement and recovery metrics while prioritizing the iCARE goal of empowering consumers to envision their own wellness and define what engagement and recovery mean to them. Third Sector is providing additional support to providers as they learn and work together with diverse stakeholders to improve outcomes through consumer-centered care and to integrate consumer voice across improvement processes.


The partnership with iCARE providers and SYBH is currently underway. By the end of this project, Third Sector will develop:

  • An updated Outcomes Framework that reflects diverse stakeholder input and includes consumer voice: Based on stakeholder engagement with leadership, direct staff, family members, and individuals receiving support, the original program Learning Framework will be updated to reflect data points, collection methods, and outcomes, tools, and recovery metrics that are best aligned with the values and goals of the iCARE program.
  • Consumer-Defined Engagement & Recovery Metrics: A new outcomes tool will be created based on extensive engagement with consumers across the SYBH continuum of care with the goal of better understanding what outcomes matter most to them, what engagement means to them, and which recovery dimensions are priorities.  
  • An understanding of the impact of a relationship-based nonclinical field approach: The program evaluation portion of the project will include leadership, direct staff, family members, and individuals receiving iCARE support and will contribute to learning across the field of Behavioral Health by better understanding the impact of a program model that prioritizes relationship building and genuine connection.
Practice area:

Behavioral Health

Third Sector works with communities and our government agencies to transform how we deliver mental and behavioral health services to support people’s recovery and well-being.
Project NameScopeLocationStatus
Designing Outcomes-Focused Mental Health Services in Los Angeles CountyCountyCAClosed
Third Sector partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) to transform approximately $300 million in service provider contracts, creating the nation's largest system of outcomes-focused mental health provider contracts. This multiyear, data-driven process focused on LACDMH's Full Service Partnership program, which supports a "whatever it takes" approach to caring for individuals with the most challenging mental health needs. As a result, LACDMH was able to deliver better outcomes for the more than 15,000 clients they serve each day.
Building a Shared Vision in California for Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Serious Mental IllnessCountyCAActive
Inspired by our groundbreaking work with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Third Sector is leading a cohort of nine diverse California counties over 4.5 years in transforming their Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs to improve client outcomes. Through data-driven approaches and cross-county collaboration Third Sector is working with the counties both collectively and individually to implement an outcomes-focused approach that will increase their overall ability to use data to improve FSP services and outcomes
Practice Area Managing Director of Behavioral Health