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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

USE, LEARN ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION RESOURCES
Report sheds light about services, outcomes in community

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, June 18, 2019) - Use a new City report to better understand the mental health prevention, early intervention and wellness services offered by community agencies to Berkeleyans.

Berkeley Mental Health primarily focuses on those with the most severe struggles, a requirement of our federal and state funding. These early intervention programs, however, play an essential role in improving mental wellness in our community, increasing access to needed services, and preventing mental health challenges from becoming severe and disabling.

A portion of these intervention programs are funded through Berkeley Mental Health and offered by community agencies, local nonprofits. Their services may be of interest to you or those you know. Funded community agencies include:

  • Center for Independent Living's Living Well workshops offer support to older adults on improving quality of life and maintaining independence.
  • Covenant House offers support groups and events at their YEAH! homeless shelter for youth.
  • GOALS for Women offers culturally competent outreach and support services for African Americans in South and West Berkeley. Call (510) 334-0003 to learn more.
  • Pacific Center for Human Growth offers a number of different support groups for adults in the LGBTQI community.

In addition to increasing awareness, the Health, Housing and Community Services Department is working to increase our transparency and accountability by issuing a summary report on their work.

Nonprofits used a new methodology called Results Based Accountability and provided information on three basic questions:

  • How much did you do?
  • How well did you do it?
  • Is anyone better off?

"Working with community agencies helps the City create a healthier, more inclusive Berkeley" says City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley. "These agencies expand our reach into communities and locations where mental health services are needed."

The city funded $200,000 in programs for the most recent, full fiscal year. Through five community agencies, we offered over 500 support groups focused on underserved populations. The agencies offered a range of programs for youth, adults, and older adults and targeted a range of issues including processing trauma, dislocation, aging and the onset of acquired disabilities, oppression, and racism.

The report reveals a high level of satisfaction with the programs offered. On average, participants attended six support group sessions per year.  Respondents also reported feeling connected and an improved ability to handle stress and daily life problems. In Albany, which the Berkeley Mental Health also covers as part of our state funding, the school district saw an improvement in truancy rates among participating students.

"Our goal is to improve the impact that we're having and the quality of our work," said Kelly Wallace, Interim Director of the City's Department of Health, Housing and Community Services. "To do that effectively, we need to measure it and track our progress."

The report is part of an effort in our Health, Housing and Community Services Department to deepen our positive impact, especially for those most vulnerable - a key goal in our City's Strategic Plan.

Read the FY2018 Report to learn more about these programs and the impact they are having on the health of our community. To learn more about all of our MHSA programs, read the full MHSA Annual Update.

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