It’s great to see the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) launching two get-to-know-the-MHSA training sessions over the next week.
Do you feel engaged? I sat on the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) for six years (and the Alcohol & Other Drug Advisory Board for several years prior) and even I and many of my peers didn’t feel engaged. It’s a problem. And one you are empowered by law to overcome. So, don’t let this just be talk. Let’s help our county Supervisors and BHS department walk that talk. All it takes is for you to show up and learn when and how to speak up!
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn how the county spends $210m+ on mental health services and how you’re intended by law to meaningfully contribute!
RSVP for the Friday June 24th training @ 12:00-1:15pm and/or,
RSVP for the Wednesday, June 29th (2022) training @ 6:00-7:15pm
Unfortunately, these were only announced a few days ago… yep, they say they want your engagement but they’re not going to make much of an effort informing you just how you can do that.
You’ll also notice you’re being asked to engage after the new fiscal year’s budget has been presented, discussed, and approved. And, you typically won’t see the MHSA plan usually until September, three months after they’ve already started spending the $210 million in MHSA funds (about 23% of the BHS department’s annual budget). In comparison, most California county BHS departments ask the public for feedback before the county budget is approved, not months after.
In any case it’s a start. I’ll be attending along with you and posting feedback up here to share concerns. There are plenty. But, let’s see how forthcoming they are. If they can’t be straight with you, I’d be glad to help! The MHSA after all was designed and legislated to put seriously mentally ill consumers, their family members, and other community stakeholders in the pilot’s seat of how they are supposed to be meaningfully engaged in the year-long mental health services planning, budgeting, and evaluation processes.
Here’s images to post in your social media!