Please provide input on new mental health services and supports for those experiencing homelessness
The City of Berkeley is seeking ideas for new mental health services for the homeless population, with a specific focus on innovative ideas that reach unhoused individuals who have not been interested in services as they are currently structured. This survey will be one element that informs how the City will use state funds for innovative mental health services.
Leveraging State and Federal Resources to Support Mental Health in Berkeley
Services identified through this process will be funded through Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation funds. MHSA is funding the City receives from the State of California on an annual basis to implement mental health services in Berkeley. These funds allow the City of Berkeley to provide unique targeted mental health services to Berkeley residents entirely funded through State and Federal money. In the coming year, MHSA will bring about six million dollars of funding to Berkeley. In order to utilize MHSA funding, a stakeholder informed plan has to be developed and locally approved.
Focus on Mental Health Services for the Unhoused
Over multiple local mental health planning processes, the community has repeatedly indicated the need for additional services for the homeless population. The City of Berkeley has over 1,000 unhoused individuals, and it is estimated that between challenges of some kind.
When homeless individuals do engage with mental health services, their lives often improve through obtaining housing, decreased criminal justice involvement, improved physical health, and increased income. While the Health, Housing and Community Services Department has implemented many successful programs to support unhoused individuals, including mental health programs, there remains a large number of individuals who qualify for mental health services but do not participate in those services.
Provide Your Ideas on Innovative Mental Health Services
Please focus your feedback on generating ideas for innovative ways to better engage individuals in mental health services. The funding that is available can only be utilized for mental health services and canot be used to create more housing. The funding also requires that the program it is spent on is innovative and different than what has already been provided in the mental health system. Berkeley has a long history of providing mental health services to homeless individuals, including wide use of homeless outreach, intensive wraparound service teams, and mobile crisis teams.
By improving the health, wellness, and stability of some of our most vulnerable residents, we enhance the well-being of our entire community. Thank you for your feebdack on how to provide new mental health services and supports for individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
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