The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Dale Mueller

How the Ballot Brought About Funding and Changes for Mental Health Services

Dale Mueller
California State University at Dominguez Hills, College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing

Tanya Mueller
Azusa Pacific University

     Full text: HTML
     Last modified: October 16, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 4:15 PM in NT Manchester
     (View Schedule)

Mental Health Services in the US, and in California, one of the most diverse states in the USA, are fragmented and under-funded, especially for vulnerable populations such as the chronically mentally ill, children, members of non-dominant cultures, and lower socioeconomic status. A ballot measure (Proposition 63) was recently passed by the voters of California whereby an additional tax on millionaires was proposed to be used for designated mental health programs and education of providers. This ballot initiative is leading to a reform in expanded and more meaningful mental health service delivery, as all stakeholders (including consumers) are participating in the design and implementation of models and services brought about by Proposition 63. Cultural competence, consumer and family involvement, and linkages with educational programs for a pipeline of providers are components that are being designed now. The means to educate consumers and family members, certificated para-professionals and licensed professionals is through curriculum developed by colleges and universities and delivered through a distance format. Funds are available from various sources to offer computer hardware for those consumers who are not able to afford computers in their own household. These partnerships with institutions of higher learning for non-degree courses to include consumers and family members in the delivery of mental health services is a new and innovative approach to uses of course delivery via emerging technologies. A poster session showing the history of this ballot initiative and the consumer-driven elements that are currently being implemented to expand needed mental health services will be created.

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