Integrated Mental Health for Youth
Research studies indicate that half of all mental health conditions begin by the age of 14. It is critical for California to continuously improve its system of care for youth to ensure that the help provided is both relevant and responsive. Young people rarely receive holistic services even though mental health challenges often coexist with other physical, social, and emotional problems. More than 75 percent of mental health challenges develop before a person reaches the age of 24, and early detection and treatment can significantly improve the health of adolescents as they transition to adulthood.
“We’re trying to understand and implement what youth will need and like, and what will make people feel safe and comfortable. We want a young person to know that yes, this is where you can be you and have your needs met. Everyone is working together to uplift each other’s mental health and their own, whether the need seems large or small.”
The allcove® centers will provide culturally competent and relevant services for vulnerable and marginalized youth populations including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+, homeless, and Indigenous youth.
The design of these allcove® centers will be youth-driven with ongoing participation from youth through the establishment of allcove® Youth Advisory Groups.
The overall goals of these allcove® centers are to reduce suicide and suicide ideation, homelessness, unemployment, and school failure.
In August 2018, the Commission approved Santa Clara County’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation Plan totaling $15 million over a four-year period to launch allcove®, an integrated mental health youth drop-in center which seeks to increase access to vital services for youth ages 12 to 25 at a location that is designed by youth and for youth. Services include mental and behavioral health, physical health, education and employment support, and linkage to other services. The Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Stanford) developed allcove® with input and leadership from Santa Clara County youth which builds upon Australia’s headspace© model. This MHSA Innovation Project is in its early implementation phase.
In addition, the Budget Act of 2019 included $14.6 million in one-time MHSA funding over a four-year period to support the establishment or expansion of integrated mental health youth drop-in centers to build upon the work of Santa Clara County and adapt allcove® statewide with a focus on vulnerable and marginalized youth and populations of youth with known disparities including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+, homeless, and indigenous youth. The Commission was directed to develop selection criteria and a strategy for program monitoring, providing technical assistance to awardees, and evaluating project outcomes.
In January 2020, the Commission allocated $10 million for grants to expand allcove® youth drop-in centers and $4.6 million to contract with Stanford as the exclusive implementation support provider for allcove® to provide technical assistance to grantees and other interested counties or program providers in exploring opportunities for establishing allcove® youth drop-in centers in their communities.
The Commission released the allcove® RFA in February 2020 and awarded grants to the following five highest scoring applicants in May 2020:
- Beach Cities Health District (Los Angeles County)
- Peninsula Health Care District (San Mateo County)
- Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services
- Wellnest© (City of South Los Angeles)
- University of California – Irvine (hub) & Wellness and Prevention Center (spoke)
The Commission owns the allcove® trademark and licenses the allcove® name to counties, cities, or other local entities at no cost under terms and conditions set forth in a licensing agreement. Use of the allcove® trademark requires strict adherence to the licensing agreement. Any deviation from the licensing requirements could jeopardize the trademark application on file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Commission seeks to establish allcove® youth drop-in centers throughout the state to provide integrated mental health services for youth 12 to 25 years of age and their families in an innovative, comprehensive, and youth-friendly way. The goal is to reach adolescents and young adults in clinical sites, at school, online, and through other venues. The core components of the allcove® centers include, but are not limited to:
- Youth-informed design
- Addressing mild to moderate mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression
- One-stop-shop for mental health, physical health, substance use counseling, and educational, vocational, and peer support services
- Accessible services that are affordable, destigmatizing, appealing to youth, and confidential
- Staff that includes, but is not limited to, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, substance use treatment counselors, and peer and family support
- Focus on vulnerable and marginalized youth including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+, homeless, and Indigenous youth
Site Implementation Support
The Commission, Stanford, Santa Clara County, the five allcove® youth drop-in center grantees, and other interested entities will work collaboratively to implement the allcove® model, maintain Youth Advisory Groups to guide the ongoing service delivery strategy, and develop datacove, a standardized data collection system.
Convene allcove™ Learning Community
Stanford will facilitate statewide gatherings with interested organizations to allow for collaboration and knowledge-sharing that supports the integrity and succss of the allcove™ model program effectiveness and quality improvement efforts.
Evaluate allcove™ Model
Stanford will assess the overall performance of the allcove™ model and compare outcomes across the allcove® centers to identify successes and areas for improvement.
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