Pasadena Health Department Will Receive $2 Million in New Grant Funding

Los Angeles County funding would hire new employees, assist ongoing youth and geriatric programs

Published : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 | 5:22 AM

Pasadena Public Health Department Director Michael Johnson shown before the City Council. File photo

The Pasadena City Council Monday unanimously approved an agreement with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to accept and administer Mental Health Services Act grant funds on behalf of the City of Pasadena.

According to a presentation by Pasadena Public Health Department Director Michael Johnson, the grant would add $2 million to the City’s Public Health Department funding, and increase the department’s personnel allocation by 13.2 full-time, grant-funded positions.

“This is a continuation of work already being done,” said Johnson. “It’s been a very successful grant.”

The funding would also authorize the City Manager to contract with Heritage Clinic for geriatric services for one year, with three one-year renewals up to $590,450 per year; and $8 million in Mental Health Services Act Innovation Grant Funds for transition age youth and geriatric empowerment model programs.

According to the City staff report, Pasadena’s Public Health Department was first awarded a Los Angeles DMH Innovation Developing Trauma Informed Resilient Communities-Community Capacity Building grant in 2018, through the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act in the amount of $8 million, over four years, to and through June 2022.

The report added, “The grant’s purpose is to increase access to underserved groups experiencing mental health and trauma challenges by introducing innovative approaches; increase the quality of services, including measurable outcomes; and promote interagency community collaboration to build capacity to prevent trauma and reduce the impact of trauma on residents.”

The types of trauma addressed by the program include childhood adverse experiences, social isolation, lack of adequate social support, exposure to violence or abuse, or other issues that impact the overall functioning of residents and the community at-large, the report noted.

As Johnson told the Council, PPHD will focus on community capacity building efforts around mental health and supportive services for Transition Age Youth (TAY) and seniors. The TAY program will expand the City’s youth mental health program—Project Wraparound—to include peer-to-peer outreach and engagement, supportive services, case management, and referrals for housing, counseling, and employment.

The Pasadena Health Department, with the City’s Human Services and Recreation Department and Heritage Clinic, will also implement a Geriatric Empowerment Model which will include case management, counseling referrals, supportive services, housing referrals and hygiene services (showers and laundry) for homeless clients. Services will only be accessible to those who enroll in the programs.

Two million dollars of the grant award will be recognized in Fiscal Year 2019, according to the staff report. Through Fiscal Year 2022, $2 million dollars will be recognized and appropriated each year.

New positions would include two Management Analysts, one new social worker, one new community services representative, five registered nurses, an administrative specialist, one office assistant, a program coordinator, and a part-time community service worker.

Over the last two years, the Pasadena Public Health Department and Human Services and Recreation staff have worked closely on collaborative mental health programming. The County Department of Mental Health 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.

The staff report also noted that the grant was awarded to Pasadena’s Health Department “based on its ability to demonstrate knowledge and experience in addressing the target population and in leveraging existing community resources, as well as its ability to understand community capacity building. PPHD successfully secured funding for this grant by demonstrating relationships with key partners such as Heritage Clinic, an established DMH provider serving seniors in Pasadena. PPHD included Heritage Clinic in the grant application because of its existing role in providing specialized mental health services to the senior population in Los Angeles County.”

In addition, both the City Department of Human Services and Recreation and the Housing Department are collaborating with the Pasadena Health Department in planning and delivering services.

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