Strategic Plan

Decision-Making Approach

Decision-Making Approach

The Commission seeks to strengthen its capacities to select, design and manage initiatives and projects so that they produce enduring system-level improvements. Toward that end, the Commission is developing a decision-making framework to help determine whether and how to pursue projects. Over time, the Commission aspires for the framework to evolve so as to differentiate among opportunities to allocate finite resources. The first generation of the framework is intended to:

  • Ensure the Commission‘s guiding principles are integrated into all future activities
  • Understand with precision individual opportunities to improve systems and services.
  • Design and evolve programs to address community priorities and maximize outcomes for recipient communities
  • Standardize and strengthen its approach to collecting and using data to measure the impact of a project
  • Define success for each opportunity, identify level of effort and resources required to deliver, and calibrate investments.

Diagram shows the framework that drives Commission decision making. The first column is about need: What are the implications of the unmet need for individuals and communities? What are the causes of the unmet need; what has been tried before? How does the need contribute to disparities in services and outcomes? What are the downstream consequences to individuals and communities? The next column is impact: How will the project enable agencies and providers to tailor services to reduce disparities? How will the project advance service models and enable replication? How will the project change and improve the system of care? What are the expected benefits to population behavioral health? The third column is about fit: How does the project advance the North Star goal? How well does the project complement existing projects? How would the Commission deploy or augment its capabilities? How well is the Commission positioned to be successful? The fourth and final column is about feasibility: What is the definition of success and the metrics to track progress? How will the project produce self-sustaining system improvements? How would the Commission allocate or acquire resources? Who are the partners who would champion the work?

The framework will encourage alignment among Commissioners and communicate clearly with public partners. The framework has the potential to improve the impact of the Commission’s portfolio of projects and the success of individual projects. The framework has four key criteria to guide decision-making:

  1. Need: A precise understanding of the unmet needs, including the causes and consequences of inaction and the implications for individuals, communities, and the state.
  2. Impact: The potential to benefit individuals and communities, to reduce disparities, to advance a comprehensive system of care, to produce cost-effective outcomes, to be financially sustained over time.
  3. Fit: The extent to which an opportunity aligns with the Commission’s mission, strategic priorities, and roles and will work synergistically with existing initiatives to advance a comprehensive system of care.
  4. Feasibility: The extent to which the opportunity has a clear definition of success and path to sustainability given the level of effort required and the available resources.

The framework will be deployed, assessed, and refined when the Commission has discretion to select new initiatives or investments, or when implementing legislatively directed projects. The framework also will be modified for selecting and designing innovation projects.

Strategic Priorities & Initiatives

The Commission’s portfolio of initiatives has demonstrated the potential for effective community-based services to prevent and reduce the tragic outcomes of untreated mental health needs.

In the last four fiscal years, the Commission’s 10+ initiatives have directed some $442 million across the continuum of care, including significant investments in the following areas:

  • Early psychosis and suicide prevention by scaling innovative Early Psychosis Plus programs statewide, guiding the implementation of the state’s Striving for Zero Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan, and supporting the Office of Suicide Prevention to coordinate and accelerate efforts.
  • Youth mental health with more than $200 million allocated through the Mental Health Student Services Act, allcove® Youth Drop-In Centers, an anti-bullying campaign, and support for youth and peer empowerment programs.
  • Integrated community treatment including supporting counties’ crisis continuum of care services via the Mental Health Wellness Act and improving Full-Service Partnerships.
  • Criminal justice intervention by helping 26 counties participating in six learning collaboratives to develop and deploy data-driven and financially sustainable alternatives to law enforcement responses and incarceration.

In demonstrating the potential for transformational change, these initiatives have also elevated the imperative to increase the pace and scale of efforts to build a comprehensive community-based system, bringing into sharp focus the near-term priority.

The Commission’s 2024-27 North Star Priority: Accelerate system-level improvements to achieve early, effective, and universally available services.

This priority will guide the evolution and design of the Commission’s initiatives and projects, further informed by three more clearly defined Operational Priorities:

  • Build foundational knowledge. The Commission will more explicitly develop and advocate for data-based and community-derived information to drive decisions regarding finances and services toward adequacy, sustainability, efficiency, effectiveness and reductions in disparities.
  • Close the gap between what is being done and what can be done. The Commission will work to accelerate the adoption of effective programs to reduce geographic, demographic, cultural, and socio-economic disparities in services, supports and outcomes.
  • Close the gap between what can be done and what must be done. The Commission in new ways will drive innovation in the public-private financing, delivery of services and supports, and continuous improvement to accelerate the development of early, effective, integrated and universally available services and supports.

Read the full "Vision for Accelerating Transformational Change: 2024-2027 Strategic Plan"