175985 Open Access East Palo Alto: Transforming a County Mental Health System through Community Partnership

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jei Africa, PsyD, MSCP , Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division, San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA
Louise Rogers, MPA , Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division, San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH , Health Officer, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
With the passing of the Mental Health Services Act or Proposition 63 in California, county mental health agencies were given funds to improve and develop services (i.e. access and engagement to communities who have been considered unserved and underserved, or inappropriately served) including those living in East Palo Alto, San Mateo County.

The Mental Health Services Act provided an opportunity for county and community members to engage in dialogue to improve service delivery for MH services in East Palo Alto. East Palo Alto is an area of San Mateo County with high needs and historically low service utilization. The presence of key community representatives including consumers and family members, as well as an intermediary community based organization, One East Palo Alto (OEPA), acting as a “convener” helped in identifying same day access as a critical systems change.

During the first year following implementation, Open Access East Palo Alto served 30% more clients than the year before. Clients were seen on average within 3.8 days after they contacted the system and many clients were seen on the same day as their first contact. In a client survey, 85% of clients said they were satisfied with the speed with which they received their first service. Client's sense of being welcomed and respected was also above 85%.

The success of the EPA Same Day Access project was recognized as a STAR Customer Service Awards from the County of San Mateo.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Mental Health Services Act or Proposition 63 2. Describe early challenges and successes in the evolving collaboration that led to Same Day Access 3. Identify key elements for successful community partnership

Keywords: Access to Care, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the implementation of the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.