Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63)
The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA-aka Prop 63) was approved by California voters in November 2004 and became law in January 2005. MHSA expands mental health services to persons who have serious mental illness or who are seriously emotionally disturbed and whose service needs are not being met through other funding sources. MHSA is funded through an additional 1% income tax on Californians whose annual income exceeds $! Million.
Purpose and Intent:
- Define serious mental illness among children, adults, and seniors as a condition deserving priority.
- Reduce the adverse impact of untreated mental illness on individuals, families, and local budgets.
- Expand successful and innovative service programs to include culturally and linguistically competent approaches to underserved populations.
- Provide funds to state and local governments to adequately meet the needs of everyone identified in this program and ensure that funds are expended in the most cost efficient manner.
MHSA embodies a wellness and recovery service delivery model that emphasizes clients’ participation in defining their life goals so that they could live fulfilling and productive lives despite their disabilities. This requires a major change from the clinical model that focuses on “eliminating the symptoms of mental illness”. The wellness and recovery model promotes independence by providing individuals and their families with tools to successfully gain meaningful employment, education and training, and by providing them with healthy coping mechanisms during difficult times. MHSA also promotes crative and innovative programs that are culturally, ethnically, and linguistically competent and sensitive to clients’ needs. A collaborative approach is strongly encouraged as the intent of MHSA is not to duplicate existing services but to enhance and expand them through cooperative alliances that allows for a more integrated and seamless service delivery system.
MHSA has five components which will be initially implemented in phases but will be integrated into a comprehensive plan after the initial phases have rolled out. They are:
- Community Services and Supports-funded in August 2005
- Workforce Development, Education and Training-funded in April 2007
- Prevention and Early intervention-not yet funded
- Capital and IT (information Technology)- not yet funded
- Innovative Programs-not yet funded