Sacramento, Calif. – The Respite Partnership Collaborative announced a third round of grant funding awards totaling $350,000 to two agencies in Sacramento County to increase mental health respite service options and offer alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization for teens and transition age youth experiencing a mental health crisis. With the addition of this funding, $4.5 million has been awarded in respite service grants since 2012. Grant funding has been made possible through the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services Mental Health Services Act Innovation Component. The two new respite programs are:
· Wind Youth Services, which will receive $250,000 to reduce mental health crisis for youth between the ages of 13 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of being homeless by providing linkages to community services and peer-directed respite.
- Sacramento LGBT Community Center, which will receive $100,000 to de-escalate mental health crisis for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth by providing short-term respite and drop-in support groups in a safe place.
“These new grants are an exciting opportunity to reach out to communities that historically have had difficulty receiving help at the right time. Young people from diverse backgrounds as well as individuals who are part of the LGBTQ community, will be the focus of these programs and benefit from these respite efforts. We hope this timely engagement will encourage them to access other programs when in need,” said Uma Zykofsky, Sacramento County Deputy Director of Behavioral Health Services.
The Respite Partnership Collaborative (RPC), formed in May 2012 to support the development and provision of respite services in Sacramento County, is a public-private partnership comprised of the County of Sacramento Division of Behavioral Health Services, Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management, and community members who serve as members on the RPC. Financing for the RPC and respite grants comes from Sacramento County’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation component.
“This funding will empower Wind Youth Services and the Sacramento LGBT Community Center to provide respite services for a vulnerable population that is often overlooked, our teens and transition age youth,” said Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management President and CEO Chet Hewitt. “As many as one of five individuals under the age of 18 experience a mental health disorder each year, but with these programs, individuals will have access to the supportive, appropriate and timely care they need to avoid crisis.”
Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act, provides funding for mental health services in California. The Innovation component of the Act specifically sets aside a portion of funds for the development of innovative inventive approaches to serve the needs of the mental health community. The learning objective for the project explores having an administrative entity implement the project to determine if a public-private partnership can lead to new partnerships, increased efficiencies and, ultimately, improved services to community members. Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management administers the project and grant awards for respite services.
Innovation projects and funding are time-limited and funds cannot be used to sustain the activities. Sustainability of respite programs demonstrating success will depend on the identification of future public-private funding opportunities. A comprehensive evaluation of the learning objective and the respite services is included in the project.