Inter-Departmental Correspondence


Health Services Agency



November 24, 2003



December 16, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors



Alison Mills, Chair, Mental Health Board

Margaret Taylor, Director, Health Services Agency

Gale Bataille, Director, Mental Health Services



Mental Health Board Annual Report to Board of Supervisors



Approve the Mental Health Board's Annual Report for FY 2002-03



The Mental Health Board (MHB) is mandated by the California Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 5604, to ensure citizen and professional involvement in planning processes regarding the mental health system of care and to advise the Board of Supervisors and the Local Mental Health Director regarding County mental health needs, services, special problems and outcomes of mental health services. The MHB is also required to submit an Annual Report to the Board of Supervisors.



The 2002-03 Annual Report presents an overview of the MHB's membership, agendas and program presentations, full Board and committee activities and accomplishments as well as priorities for fiscal year 2003-04.


The MHB consists of 18 members: 15 members are appointed pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 5604; 2 members are Youth Commissioners; and one is Board of Supervisors liaison, Supervisor Rich Gordon. Realignment Legislation of 1991-92 established a requirement that at least 50% of the appointed members shall be consumers or the parents, spouses, siblings, or adult children of consumers who are receiving or have received mental health services, and that the membership reflects the County's diverse population. As of October 2003, the MHB has no openings. All members are voting members. The MHB is required to interview applicants for the MHB and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding appointments.


The priorities addressed by the MHB for 2002-03 include: continued advocacy for mental health services funding; participation in strategic planning initiatives for children/youth and adults/older adults; continued advocacy for county operation of Canyon Oaks Youth Residential Treatment Facility; continued collaboration with law enforcement to intervene effectively with people with mental illness; sponsoring a public forum on teen depression; and, assuring that timely appointments were made to fill MHB vacancies with a priority on increasing the ethnic diversity of the MHB to reflect the diversity of the County's population.


Priorities of the MHB for 2003-04 include: insuring MHB effectiveness; sustaining and /or improving quality of service; sponsoring a community forum on adult mental health concerns; and monitoring and participating in Mental Health Services budget development, as well as state and local issues related to mental health funding.


The U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health (May, 2000), the recently released report of the President's Commission on Mental Health (August 2003) and the California Little Hoover Commission's report on Mental Health (November, 2000) all conclude that mental health treatment works, but that less than 50% of our population's mental health needs are addressed. Given the current economic environment, your Board will continue to be faced with tough budgetary decisions. Community mental health services function as a key component of our local human service safety net, particularly in times of community crisis and economic uncertainty. The MHB will monitor and continue to advocate for community response capability and, most critically, the continued availability of mental health resources for our most vulnerable and disabled residents.


Vision Alignment

The approval of this report from the MHB keeps the commitment to Ensure Basic Health and Safety for All and goal number 8: Help vulnerable people-the aged, disabled, mentally ill, at risk youth, and others- achieve a better quality of life. This report contributes to this commitment and goal by providing information about the activities and priorities of the MHB.


Fiscal Impact

There is no direct fiscal impact related to the functions of the Mental Health Board.