Helping people with mental health issues live independently: California’s new mental health system

Group of TalkingTiles Devices

Comprehensive, integrated community care has proven to be an effective solution for individuals with mental health issues.  In 2004, the state of California introduced the Mental Health Services Act, which allocated more than $3 billion for their programs known as the Full Service Partnerships (FSP). An analysis by researchers from Oregon State University has shown that FSP programs help people with serious mental health conditions transition to independent living.

The researchers looked at data from 43 of California’s 53 counties, resulting in a sample of 9,208 adults over the course of four years. They found that participants who remained in the program were 13.5% more likely to successfully transition to independent living.

In addition to assisting with independent living, programs were offered to provide these individuals with timely access to care – which included treatment for co-occuring disorders such as substance abuse.

Jangho Yoon, an assistant professor of health policy and health economist at Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, as well the lead author of the study, shared that as these programs are different from usual mental health services programs in most states because the provide a more intensive level of care and broader range of mental health services and supports, such as medication management, crisis intervention, case management, and peer support.

“Nobody would disagree that the public mental health system has historically been under-funded in the US,” states Yoon, “… investment in well-funded, recovery-oriented, comprehensive community mental health programs clearly improves lives of people with serious mental illness, and may also save money from reduced dependency and incarcerations in this population.”

As the price of mobile technology continues to become more manageable, access to affordable and effective technology tools to assist in the delivery of such recovery-oriented programs are in closer reach for everyone. These tools are mobile solutions that allow the individual and their entire team of care professionals to remotely communicate, create and access treatment plans, evaluate, and report and revise treatments, all from any mobile device.

Real-time, mobile accessibility is a big step toward further ensuring adherence to prescribed treatment plans – which is vital to a successful outcomes in any integrated community care program.



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