Mental Health Initiative:
RAP Foundation accepted its five-year Strategic Plan that was implemented July 1, 2014. One component of the Plan is a change to the Grant Process. The agency’s Board of Directors was adamant that they wanted to see impact as a result of RAPF providing grant funding to organizations. One way to achieve that goal was to reduce open year funding and launch funding cycles and initiatives in the three focus areas, starting with a Mental Health Initiative.
To start the Mental Health Initiative process, a few specific concentrated meetings were held with key mental health professionals including on a one-to-one basis.
Four Community Forums were held in June 2014, over the course of two days with total attendance at 58 participants. Forums were held throughout the Coachella Valley with two held in Palm Springs, one in Indio and one in Mecca (Mecca had Spanish-speaking translator). The forums had very diverse representation, from non profit organizations, schools, governmental, therapists, to a consumer and his parents. One of RAPF’s non profit consultants served as facilitator for all four forums. The attendees were led through a six-question survey, as participants provided their responses, a RAPF staff acted as “scribe” and captured the responses which were then compiled into a summary. At the end of the six- question survey in which the responses were verbally shared, a written five-question survey was distributed and attendees were asked to complete and submit prior to their leaving. The responses to the survey were compiled.
Responses from the structured forums were summarized as the following points:
-Participants were generally knowledgeable about some mental health service agencies/organizations in the Coachella Valley and able to give names of those agencies. Some participants were more knowledgeable than others as to the various agencies and their locations and service capture areas.
- Participants were generally knowledgeable about the types of human services/inventions within the area of Mental Health.
- Participants in attendance were not aware of each other’s programs and services.
- Participants were able to identify gaps they saw in Mental Health services/interventions in eastern Riverside County (primarily Coachella Valley) for children/adolescents (persons under age 18), Adults (persons age 19-54) and Older Adults (persons over age 55).
-Children/Adolescents – general summary is lack of services from mild mental health issues to sever mental health symptoms/conditions
-Adults – general summary is lack of services and especially seen for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Partum, LGBT, Cultural, Special Needs
-Older Adults – general summary is lack of case management and transportation to services.
- When asked to look back over the past five years as to what Mental Health models/services/intervention they thought were working well, the models and organizations they listed were primarily using a "wrap-around" model.
- Participants were able to provide examples of agencies and types/models of services, either by witnessing it or learned about cutting edge programs/services/inventions, they thought worked well.
-When asked to prioritize three pressing Mental Health services/intervention that were suggested as critical, in order of most pressing to least pressing:
-"Wrap-Around" Services – Alcohol and Drug Abuse-Emergency Response Teams for Hospitals