The California MHSA Multicultural Coalition (CMMC) is proud to announce an upcoming opportunity for those interested in learning about the CMMC’s State of the State reports. The State of the State reports were created to highlight the mental health needs of some of the diverse under- and unserved populations in California. Join us on September 30th in Carlsbad for Culture and Mental Health:Exploring Challenges and Resiliency for Diverse Communities, a free presentation on the findings of these reports.
To develop the State of the State reports, the CMMC conducted interviews with individuals from the respective communities and consulted subject matter experts in order to get a first-hand perspective of the challenges these communities face. We also wanted to learn about the strength and resiliency within each community.
The reports were created to give a brief overview of the unique difficulties that are inherent in certain populations including:
California's Office of Health Equity has released the solicitations for Phase II of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) funded by the Mental Health Services Act. Community organizations are particularly encouraged to respond to the solicitations for the Capacity Building and Implementation Pilot Projects, which will fund community-based promising practices to improve mental health in communities of color and the LGBTQ population.
You can also access solicitations for Statewide Evaluator and Technical Assistance Providers.
Bidders’ conferences will be held in Sacramento for all solicitations, and will be available via web conferencing for those unable to attend in person. You can find out more of about these events here. The bidder’s conference for the Capacity Building and Implementation Pilot Projects will be held:
Wednesday, September 9 1:00-4:00 p.m. Ziggurat Building Auditorium 707 3rd Street in West Sacramento
At our recent town hall meetings to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project’s Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities a lot of attendees asked about the funding solicitations for Phase 2 of the project. This week, the California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity (OHE) released draft versions of these solicitations for public comment (and not for submitting proposals yet). You can review them and share your feedback to the Office of Health Equity by March 25th. The final solicitations, considering the public comments, will be available at a later date.
Here is the full announcement from OHE including how to access the solicitations and submit your comments:
The California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity has posted draft pre-solicitations for the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP), Phase 2 implementation on BidSync, links for BidSync on our website and links below. This is not a request for bids at this time. The purpose of the release is to solicit public feedback about our program and solicitation designs prior to release of the official solicitations. We are not accepting applications at this time.
Though we have done a lot of work to put these solicitations together, we acknowledge that there are still ways for us to improve our solicitations so that we can obtain the best bidders and ultimately the best provider of services for CRDP. We are asking:
Yesterday in Eureka, CPEHN hosted the fifth and final town hall meeting to discuss the draft of the California Reducing Disparities Project’s Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Disparities in Mental Health. The resulting discussion, which coincided with the final day for public comment on the document, revealed the unique needs faced by the population in Humboldt County and other areas across Northern California.
The overarching theme throughout the meeting was that more emphasis needs to be placed on the unique needs faced by rural populations when interacting with mental health services. Some challenges faced by rural communities include finding adequate transportation to and from mental health services, and the lack of available mental health specialists and professionals. Unlike many of the state’s urban areas, California’s rural areas often have a handful of mental health providers for an entire county or region. At the Eureka town hall, attendees stressed that that the voice of rural California must be included in the final Strategic Plan and that the document can’t be heavily urban-centric. There was also a consensus that more needs to be done to encourage workforce development and capacity building in California’s rural counties and that there should be incentives for providers to work in these areas.
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If you’ve been following our blog over the last couple weeks, you know that we have been doing a lot of work on improving California’s mental health system. We have been to Fresno, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego for town hall meetings to receive public comment on the California Reducing Disparities Project’s draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities.
At these events, we have received a lot of great feedback, and a lot of it has focused on the best ways to provide behavioral health services to California’ diverse communities. We have heard a lot about integrating medical care and behavioral health services in a single, community-based environment. Many have supported this strategy, and now, thanks to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, we have some data to demonstrate the effectiveness of behavioral health integration. The recently released brief, One-Stop Shopping: Efforts to Integrate Physical and Behavioral Health Care in Five California Community Health Centers, takes a look at five large community health centers — which treat anywhere from 12,000 to 70,000 patients per year — and how they have integrated medical and behavioral health services.
The passion for improving mental health services in California’s communities of color and LGBTQ population was on display today in Los Angeles at our fourth community town hall meeting to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project’s draft Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. Over 75 mental health advocates, providers, and community members gathered at the California Community Foundation to discuss the draft plan, which will help direct the state’s efforts to improve mental health services for its diverse population.
The primary topic of conversation was that community and traditional programs are vital for providing trusted mental health services and should not be overshadowed during the statewide process. The concern was how a western approach to medicine is not always the best way to treat mental illness in diverse communities. Many of the community members in attendance wanted to make sure that these community and traditional programs, which are already working, should not be subsumed by the western philosophy of medicine and treatment. These were great points and we will be sure to include them when we work on the final plan.
Like in the previous three meetings – yesterday in San Diego and last week in Fresno and Oakland – cultural competency was a key theme. Attendees wanted to make sure that cultural competency was adequately defined in the plan and that specific strategies were included to help achieve it.
CPEHN hosted its third town hall meeting today in San Diego to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. Dozens of mental health professionals, advocates, and community members gathered at the Sherman Heights Community Center to discuss the plan, which will establish priorities and recommendations for addressing mental health disparities throughout California’s communities of colors and LGBTQ population.
As in the first two meetings in Fresno and Oakland, the crowd appreciated the opportunity to comment on the plan. Many wanted to make sure that programs supported through the strategic plan have the necessary resources to be sustainable beyond the four-year pilot project. And like the other meetings, cultural competency was a recurring theme, with many pointing out the need for more Spanish-language resources in the Latino population.
Another key focus was on the importance of affirming all identities. In particular, some LGBTQ people of color identify as their race/ethnicity first and then as LGBTQ, so it is important that mental health providers (and all health providers) recognize and affirm each of these identities in order to effectively meet their needs.
Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on students reporting depression-related feelings in Fresno County.
We have been talking a lot about mental health recently. If you’ve been following the blog this week, you will have seen that we hosted two town hall meetings, one in Fresno and the other in Oakland, to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project’s (CRDP) draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. These events have generated great discussion and a number of comments that we will be incorporating into the final plan after the ongoing public comment period ends on February 17th.
While we have talked so much about the strategic plan in this space, we haven’t focused on some of the actual mental health needs that it will address. So, for this Friday Facts, we are going to look at a chart representing the percentage of students experiencing depression-related feelings in Fresno County. As you can see, at least 1 in 4 students in each racial/ethnic group have reported experiencing depression-related feelings in the last year. There are some noticeable disparities, as Pacific Islanders (nearly half), Asians, and Latinos reported experiencing depression-related feelings at higher rates. But it is clear that this particular issue impacts all communities.
Over 75 mental health advocates representing diverse communities in Oakland gathered today to provide feedback on the California Reducing Disparities Project’s (CRDP) Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. The town hall meeting was the second of five organized by CPEHN, the plan’s author, as part of an ongoing 35-day public comment period that ends on February 17th. The room was buzzing with excited conversation and thoughtful engagement as small groups of advocates discussed ways to strengthen this one-of-a-kind strategic plan.
Today in Fresno, we had a good turnout at the first CPEHN town hall meeting to discuss the draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. Roughly three dozen mental health advocates gathered at Fresno’s Downtown Business Hub to provide public comment on a draft plan aimed at reducing disparities in mental health in California’s communities of color and LGBTQ population.
Representatives from mental health professionals serving a wide array of populations at the state and local level gathered to provide their expertise to the ongoing efforts of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP).
The meeting generated discussion on a variety of topics. One primary focus was data collection to identify disparities within subgroups of the five targeted populations in the plan (African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, LGBTQ, and Native American). For example, the Central Valley’s sizeable Hmong population has different needs than other Asian and Pacific Islander populations in other regions in the state.
Perhaps the hottest topic at the meeting was the importance of cultural competency within the mental health workforce. There were many suggestions on how to ensure that the workforce best understands the unique needs of California’s diverse populations, including mandatory trainings, improving curricula at the college level, and developing and disseminating resources.
The attendees were also enthusiastic about the CRDP’s potential to determine the most effective community-based mental health practices.