Council Expected to Accept County Funds to Develop Innovative Mental Health Care Initiatives

Published : Monday, October 22, 2018 | 4:40 AM

In August the City of Pasadena was awarded an $8 million four-year grant in Los Angeles County funds under the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation 2 grant that would help underserved groups experiencing mental health and trauma challenges and allow them access to “quality services.”

On Monday, the City Council is expected to approve an agreement between the City of Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health that would pave the way for release of the grant to the City.

If approved, Pasadena’s Department of Public Health would amend the department’s fiscal year 2019 operating budget by recognizing and appropriating the $2 million in Mental Health Services Act funds, and authorize a negotiated contract with a geriatric services clinic – in this case Heritage Clinic – that would use part of the grant to deliver some of the services covered by the new funding.

The Public Health Department is also seeking authority to increase its personnel allocation by 13.2 grant-funded, limited-term full-time equivalent positions to be able to accomplish its part in the proposed agreement and the grant’s intended purpose.

The City Council is expected to vote on the recommendation Monday as part of the “consent calendar” which contains three routine items that will be approved by one motion and one vote unless removed for separate discussion.

In August, the Public Health Department was awarded an $8 million Mental Health Innovation Developing Trauma-Informed Resilient Communities-Community Capacity Building grant by the county, funded through the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) over four years, through June 2022.

With the grant, the Public Health Department intends to focus on community capacity building efforts around mental health and supportive services for Transition Age Youth and seniors.

The Transition Age Youth program will expand the department’s existing youth mental health program, Project Wraparound, to include TAY peer-to-peer outreach and engagement, supportive services, case management, and referrals for housing, counseling, and employment.

For the senior-focused program component, the department, along with the Human Services and Recreation Department and Heritage Clinic, will implement a Geriatric Empowerment Model (GEM) which includes case management, counseling referrals, supportive services, housing referrals, and hygiene services – including showers and laundry – for homeless clients. Services will only be accessible to those who enroll in the programs.

Public Health Director Michael Johnson said the department is recommending that the City Council recognize $2 million of the grant award for fiscal year 2019, and $2 million in each of the next three fiscal years through 2022.

Among the 13.2 new hires that the department plans as part of the program are a program coordinator, a management analyst, a social worker, five community services representatives, three community service workers, and a registered nurse.

“Over the last two years, PPHD (Pasadena Public Health Department) and Human Services and Recreation staff have worked closely on collaborative mental health programming,” Johnson said in an Agenda Report for Monday’s City Council meeting. “The DMH grant will expand this partnership and increase services in the noted population groups. The requested positions will ensure all aspects of GEM and TAY are implemented as required by the grant.”

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