Innovation Approvals – May 2017


Innovation Approvals – May 2017


Circle of Wellness: Mother, Child, Family—This rural county is home to three native tribes, with almost one quarter of all children ages 0-5 living in poverty. In an effort to provide prevention and early intervention mental health services for pregnant and post-partum women, particularly within the American Indian/Alaska Native population, a full-time clinician will be hired to do behavioral health screenings and provide services at an existing primary care clinic. A pregnant woman receives an initial counseling session at her first medical appointment; she will then receive therapy throughout the pregnancy, including after she gives birth.  Other services include outreach and education about mental health, yearly mental health wellness visits for every identified child, and parenting groups.  The Commission approved this project because it brings specialty mental health services to a local health clinic for American Indian and Alaskan Natives (as well as non-Native women) during pregnancy, post-partum and then annually for the child.  Total approved:  $918,920 over five years.

Co-Occurring Group for Teens—The County reports an increase in teens seeking treatment for substance abuse at the behavioral health department.  Many of those teens also have a mental health diagnosis (a co-occurring disorder) which is treated separately at the mental health department.  This project will integrate services by having a substance abuse counselor and a mental health clinician co-facilitate a group for those teens.  In addition, case management will be provided, as will educational parenting groups and transportation to and from the groups.  The Commission found this project to be innovative because it brings strong collaboration between mental health and substance abuse treatment providers working toward better sustained outcomes for teens with a co-occurring disorder.  Total approved: $787,686 over five years.

Children’s Accelerated Access to Treatment and Services (CAATS)—Foster youth have a higher rate of developing or experiencing mental health disorders, yet children entering the foster care system often face delays in treatment or do not receive the appropriate treatment.  The CAATS project streamlines the process of getting treatment through the use of a new trauma-informed assessment once the child is placed in a foster home. And, because being removed from the home is in itself traumatic, every child will be offered assistance in processing that loss. Also, a nurse will support child psychiatrists in medication monitoring, as well as providing education to foster parents on the importance of medication adherence. The funds will be used to hire five staff:  a Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor, three clinicians and a nurse. The Commission approved this project because it provides more timely access for children in the foster system in determining the need for trauma informed services, and it provides education to foster parents on the importance of medication treatment. Total approved:  $1,471,668 over three years.

Roaming Outpatient Access Mobile (ROAM)—While San Diego County is known for its beaches, it also has a large rural area with small populations, including Native Americans on tribal lands.  For that community, it can be challenging to access mental health services for geographic and cultural reasons. The County plans to fund two fully mobile mental health clinics in the North Inland and the East County regions, areas with the highest concentration of reservation land and Native American communities.  A doctor, a clinician and a nurse will be hired; culturally competent services will be provided directly on-site using cultural brokers representing the underserved community, a peer support specialist and a family support specialist.   The Commission found this project to be innovative because it brings culturally competent services to rural reservations through the use of mobile clinics, cultural brokers and the inclusion of traditional Native American healing practices. Co-occurring conditions will also be treated. Total approved:  $8,788,837 over four and a half years.

Recuperative Services Treatment (ReST)—San Diego County has noticed an uptick in the number of young adults with severe mental illness who are homeless and use emergency mental health services, primarily because they’re not connected to outpatient mental health services.  This project will provide respite mental health care services in a home-like environment for youth (ages 18 to 25) with a severe mental illness who may have a co-occurring disorder, are homeless or at risk of homelessness. On-site services will include peer support, substance abuse treatment and behavioral health services. These individuals will also be linked to ongoing appropriate levels of care. The Commission approved this project because it provides support housing and services to homeless Transitional Age Youth with a severe mental illness, in an effort to lessen the routine use of acute, emergency mental health services (hospitals, ERs, crisis homes, jail mental health).  Total approved: $6,155,624 over four and a half years.

Project Medication Clinic—Imagine your child has a serious emotional condition and needs to take a complex regimen of psychotropic medications. If something changes in his/her behavior, what do you do? Finding medication management services for youth with serious emotional conditions on psychotropic medication can be a challenge. This clinic will provide medication support services to young adults, psychoeducational groups to caregivers, peer support and outreach to the community.  The County also proposes establishing tele-psychiatry services at 12 regional locations. The Commission found this project to be innovative because it provides needed medication services to children living with serious emotional conditions beyond what is allowed through current managed services. Total approved:  $8,836,362 over four and a half years

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