According to recent statistics, one in 13 California children suffers from a mental illness that limits participation in daily activities, and two-thirds of adolescents with mental health needs do not get treatment.
"We can no longer ignore the impact that mental health has on the overall health of California, especially its youth. That's why we are excited that the Sacramento County Office of Education will be implementing Sacramento's community action plan, because they understand and serve this important population well," said Center for Health Program Management and Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet P. Hewitt.
Locally, the collaborative effort has been led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services, and Sierra Health Foundation.
On July 20, 2013, during Sacramento's National Dialogue on Mental Health event, more than 350 Sacramento County and Yolo County residents, community leaders, public officials, and guests met at the Sacramento Convention Center to address mental health needs in the region. More than 100 youth participated in the event, which focused on ending stigmas, breaking down barriers to care, and promoting recovery and healthy communities, with a focus on helping young people.
"More than half of adolescents in the United States who fail to complete high school have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "SCOE takes a cross sector approach to preparing the young men and women of the region to be healthy, productive adults. That's why this project means so much to us; we get to work with a variety of leaders from many different sectors to implement a plan that will work to improve the lives of many in our region."
In partnership with Mental Health America of Northern California, SCOE will facilitate the implementation of the action plan, continue engagement of key stakeholders, and coordinate youth engagement efforts. Upon conclusion of the contract in August 2015, SCOE will develop a final report to document findings, outcomes, and program measures, plus opportunities to further support mental health for youth in the community.
Sacramento's action plan implementation process is funded through a partnership of The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation and Sierra Health Foundation. These partners, along with The California Wellness Foundation, joined together to fund the planning and delivery of the National Dialogue on Mental Health in Sacramento and the development of the resulting action plan. The Center for Health Program Management manages the project.