Santa Clara County Partners in Wellness

County of Santa Clara Launches Nation's First Acute Mental Health PFS Project

Partners in Wellness will provide community-based mental health services for individuals with serious mental illness.

The County of Santa Clara is launching the nation’s first mental health-focused Pay for Success (PFS) project in partnership with Telecare Corporation, a national leader in providing innovative, effective services and supports to individuals with serious mental illness and complex needs. Over a six-year term, Partners in Wellness will provide community-based behavioral health services to approximately 250 severely mentally ill County residents, with the goal of measurably improving their well being and quality of life while reducing their reliance on less effective, costlier services, including the County’s psychiatric emergency room and inpatient psychiatric care settings.

Staff_Client Registry

Telecare uses a mix of tools, technology, and team processes to support effective care coordination.

The Project

  • Since early 2013, the County of Santa Clara has been pursuing two PFS projects designed to improve the efficiency and efficacy of service delivery to two vulnerable segments of the County’s population: those experiencing chronic homelessness and those experiencing severe mental illness. The County’s first Pay for Success project, Project Welcome Home, which focused on providing permanent supportive housing and associated services to the chronically homeless, launched in July 2015, and was the first Pay for Success project in California. Since early 2015, the County has been developing Partners in Wellness, its second PFS project.
  • In Santa Clara County, a small group of severely mentally ill residents frequently cycles in and out of Emergency Psychiatric Services (EPS), the County’s psychiatric emergency room; Barbara Arons Pavilion (BAP), the County’s inpatient psychiatric facility; and other expensive contracted psychiatric facilities. Through Partners in Wellness, the County hopes to move away from an episodic, reactive model of care to a more proactive model that identifies individuals who are already, or are likely to become, frequent users of emergency and inpatient psychiatric services and provides them with more effective treatment in a community-based setting. Further, the project also seeks to create savings and efficiencies in the County’s health system by improving the flow of patients through these facilities.
  • In partnership with the County’s Behavioral Health Services Department, Telecare will provide recovery-centered, community-based mental health and housing services that are specifically designed to serve people with extremely complex needs. Partners in Wellness concentrates heavily on care coordination to help people access and best utilize the resources they need, especially primary care and other community supports. Treatment is highly personalized and grounded in evidence-based practice. Services will also include 24/7 access to support, comprehensive health and wellness screenings, substance use education and treatment, and practical assistance with vital life needs including symptom management, finding housing, linking to financial benefits, and more. The program will strive to tap into the personal hopes and goals of the individuals served, as a primary source of motivation to make healthy and positive change.

Additional Information

For more information or inquiries, please contact

Government: Santa Clara County, California

County of Santa Clara seal

The County of Santa Clara will fund Telecare’s services, with a portion of its payments tied to Telecare’s success in reducing clients’ utilization of costly emergency, inpatient, and contracted psychiatric services and jail days. Santa Clara County has a population of more than 1.8 million, is the largest County in the San Francisco Bay, and is the sixth most populous county in California. San Jose is the largest city in the County, with a population of nearly 1 million. The County has over 15,000 employees across 26 diverse agencies and departments and operates with a $4 billion budget.

Service Provider: Telecare Corporation

Telecare logo

Telecare Corporation has been providing community-based, wrap-around services for individuals with serious mental illness in the Bay Area and in California since 1994. Telecare currently operates more than 30 Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs in California that have the capacity to serve over 4,200 individuals each year. Telecare is one of the nation’s most experienced providers of adult community behavioral health services, specializing in serving individuals with serious mental illnesses and complex needs. Based in Alameda, California, Telecare is an employee and family-owned organization with more than 90 program and 3,100 employees in: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Other Project Partners

Government Advisor & Transaction Coordinator: Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.

Independent Evaluator: Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Legal: Fenwick & West LLP

Technology Partner: Palantir Technologies

Early Community & Project Supporters: Step Up Silicon Valley, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, The Sobrato Family Foundation, The Health Trust, the California Pay for Success Initiative (administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund and funded by The James Irvine Foundation), the California HealthCare Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund through the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success program