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Mental Health Services Act

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) is a critical funding source for mental health services and programs, totaling approximately $2.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Counties are able to match approximately $1 billion of MHSA dollars with federal funds, significantly multiplying the investment in mental health services and support throughout California communities.

Expand MHSA Funding to Substance Use Disorders

UCC will support additional flexibility to allow MHSA funds to be used for services for individuals with a primary or sole diagnosis of a substance use disorder (SUD). Increasingly, individuals involved in the criminal justice system and homeless individuals have a primary or sole diagnosis of a substance use disorder. MHSA would provide a flexible funding source to address at-risk and vulnerable populations with a behavioral health condition. As California heads toward more mental health and SUD integration, MHSA should follow suit and be more behavioral health focused.

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Modify Distribution of MHSA Funds to Outcome-Based Model

UCC will support use of an outcomes-based model for distribution of MHSA funds developed with county behavioral health departments that reflect statewide and local priorities in place of current percentage distribution. Currently, the MHSA requires that 80% of the funds be used for Community Services and Supports and up to 20% for Prevention and Early Intervention, with 5% of overall funding earmarked for Innovation.