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Mental Health Services Innovation Plan Up for Review

May 18, 2010


The Placer County Health and Human Services Department is seeking public comment on a plan for creating a grant program to distribute California Mental Health Services Act funding to local community groups.

The draft “Innovation Plan” outlines how the department plans to spend MHSA funding over the next three years. It was developed through a year-long planning process that involved more than 35 community members, including mental health consumers, family members and service providers.

The “Innovation Plan” is part of the Campaign for Community Wellness, an effort by Health and Human Services and partner organizations to transform how mental health services are provided in Placer County.

Under the proposed plan, $300,000 in Mental Health Services Act grants would be distributed to community groups over three years. Health and Human Services and several community-based organizations would jointly manage the grants program.

“The exciting aspect of this part of the Mental Health Services Act is that it allows us to try new, creative approaches to mental health services that could have long-term impacts on the way we deliver services to those in need. It is an exciting shift that allows the community to assume a leadership role in providing solutions to serving those at risk of behavioral health issues,” said Richard Knecht, Director of the county Children’s System of Care. “Our efforts to transform how services are delivered already are making a big difference in improving the lives of people with severe mental illness, especially underserved populations.”

Public comments on the draft “Innovation Plan” may be made in writing to Health and Human Services or in person at a public hearing to be held Monday June 28 by the Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board.

The deadline for submitting written public comments on the draft plan is 5 p.m. on June 14.

The advisory board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at 11533 C Ave. in the Placer County Government Center, a North Auburn complex commonly known as the DeWitt Center. A Spanish translator will be available upon request.

Public comments will be included in the final plan that is submitted by Placer County to the state.

A copy of the draft plan is online at (Click on "Draft Innovation Plan").   Copies are available at public libraries in Placer County.

The public also may request copies or get more information by calling Michele Zavoras at 916-787-8830.

Written public comments may be sent by e-mail to or by mail to Michele Zavoras, the Adult System of Care, Health and Human Services Department, 101 Cirby Hills Drive, Roseville, CA 95678.

For more information, the public also may contact Knecht or Maureen F. Bauman, Director of the Adult System of Care. Both can be reached by calling 530-889-7240.