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Progress, and the many elements to consider when creating an MHSA 3-Year Program and Expenditure plan

Last updated on May 15, 2023

Appreciation goes out to the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) this year for releasing the annual Draft MHSA 3-Year Program and Expenditure Plan for Fiscal Years 2023-24 to 2025-26 in the first week of April. This year the hearing is set for being held at the May 4 BHAB Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) meeting.

This year, we received the plan before the county budget cycle begins. In years past, we received the plan months into the current fiscal year, approving the plan long after the money had already been flowing. Yet, this year stakeholders received the 600-page plan at the beginning of April, and they are expected to somehow review and offer informed feedback just 30-days later at the Public Hearing.

Future progress necessitates Community Program Planning (CPP) stakeholders to be involved in the process of creating this annual plan.

County Budget | The map below illustrates the county Chief Administrative Officer’s (CAOs) budget cycle as it relates to the MHSA annual plan. Illustrated are some of the many elements that would inform CPP stakeholders including:

  • Quality Improvement | You’ll also see the FY2022-23 Quality & Improvement Work Plan and the FY2021-22 Evaluation Reports, including one for Mental Health and one for Substance Use Disorders. These documents describe the goals the BHS will focus on over the next fiscal year, and inform Community Program Planning (CPP) process stakeholders of outcomes from the previous fiscal year.
  • Community Engagement | The Community Engagement report (pages 92-295), and other related reports and data are also pivotal for CPP stakeholders to understand as they contribute towards creating the MHSA 3-Year Plan.
  • Other Reports and Data | CPP stakeholders also need other available information to participate in the planning process. These could include:
    • Reports from five Live Well San Diego (LWSD) Community Regional Leadership Teams (CRLT), six System of Care Councils, the Community Health Workers (CHW), San Diego Veteran’s Coalition, Dreamweaver Coalition, and the Suicide Prevention Council (SPC).
    • BHAB workgroup and committee reports.
    • Community Experience Project (CEP) reports.
    • Related reports from the county Public Health and Medical Services departments.
    • Gap analysis reports reflecting the needs and unfilled demand within the BHS ecosystem.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, it does illustrate the many entities that ultimately inform CPP stakeholders as they evaluate, collaborate, and ultimately provide feedback in the planning process.

Although this may all be foreign to the current BHAB, the fact remains, the MHSA directs the BHAB ensure the CPP processes are designed so that informed stakeholders contribute in the planning process - not just receive a plan one day and expect to absorb and opine knowledgeably, only thirty-days later.

Consider also the fact that many stakeholders speak other languages, or may otherwise be unable to effectively ingest or communicate their feedback in the process. How the BHS accomodates these stakeholders is crucial to the entire process. Ignoring them because of the difficulties in making such accomodations should not be an option.

Remember, the CPP is a fully-funded mechanism to ensure that enough staff and resources are at hand to accomplish these and other objectives. What is most needed is a BHAB that ensures the BHS meet these responsibilities versus it enabling a dysfunctional system by ignoring it's duty to be informed and engaged in ensuring these elements are addressed effectively. 

Finally, this map is a living document. It is meant to be able to be downloaded, edited, or otherwise used to communicate with other CPP stakeholders who seek to be included in the planning processes.

Here’s an updated version that includes the current-year’s county budget cycle and MHSA Plan release.

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