Strategic Plan

Summary of Themes from Community Engagement

Summary of Themes from Community Engagement

The Commission engaged the public between May and November 2023 to inform the development of the strategic plan. Multiple methods were employed to reach and engage community partners including more than 40 interviews with internal and external partners, six public meetings, two online surveys, and a focus group. Through these strategies a diverse audience representing different interest groups and racial and ethnic backgrounds expressed their needs and concerns.

The Commission received a tremendous amount of input and feedback from community partners through the engagement efforts. To distill what was heard, transcripts and summaries were produced of all engagement events and then analyzed to identify core themes. The table below presents those themes, which informed every aspect of the 2024-2027 Strategic Plan.

Key Themes Quotes
Provide strong leadership, vision, focus and promote awareness

The Commission is in the best position to see the statewide perspective on mental health issues and provide some policy continuity while still recognizing unique regional issues and needs.

Increasing awareness about mental illnesses and mental health in general population. Decreasing the stigma around and misunderstanding of mental disorders and illnesses.

Engage community, build trust, and empower

Your willingness to reach out to the public and diverse communities of California State. Allowing community to speak about what they need.

Shaping the Mental Health System in California involves power in numbers and a willingness to include all voices and feedback from consumers, families and community partners. “Nothing about us, without us.”

Develop policy, support legislation, and advocate for services Advocate for Housing that Heals! We need supportive housing for clients in their own county of residence. Extra financial help is needed for small, rural counties. Too many of our clients have to be sent out of our County for placement.
Promote prevention/early intervention and school mental health

Promote mental health and well-being for school kids, to drive multi-generational impact in years to come. This can be done by educating the public about mental health, supporting PEI programs, and promoting mental health focused at schools. 

The Commission’s key opportunity is to fill a significant gap in both funding and partnership in supporting mental health in our school (LEA) eco-system.

Allocate resources strategically, provide technical assistance and support best practice models.

The Commission’s highest impact role is its approval and awarding of funding for impactful county projects, community programs, and advocacy initiatives.”

Commission staff has good experience administering contracts in order to decrease disparities, increase community engagement, and implement pilot projects.

Address disparities and ensure services are culturally competent and sensitive

Most important in my community are mental health disparities, particularly for the African American population, gang-involved/affected.

African Americans are overrepresented in criminal justice, foster care, etc., and they need to be treated and receive specialized services.

Foster innovative practices/treatment and service integration

Providing pathways for innovative programs to serve their communities and ensuring the counties are supporting the state initiatives.

Encouraging and developing innovative approaches to Mental Health. Helping to create and support state-wide initiatives

Leverage data to inform the public and improve services; standardize performance outcomes

Have data collection for everything we’re doing all across the board through all community organizations, and when people find what works, we need to put that out there & say this has been great for us or has helped me, but we need a strong data collection and have that open & available to everyone who uses the system.

The Commission can drive accountability for the system overall. For example, by requiring a standard of care for services purchased with MHSA dollars. Also, by gathering reliable and consistent data on access and performance, the Commission can demonstrate the value of data-driven policy and practice.

Build diverse workforce and support peer services

One thing missing is peer support/peer services needed to support the mental health community through CA, with ALL communities, especially SMI/unhoused communities.

Using peers is an essential part of the process; I would like to add that maybe we can develop relationships with peers and use peers to help with/follow through for people with/ SMI.

An inclusive and compassionate workforce towards all employees is more likely to be engaged, motivated, and have higher levels of well-being.

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