AHF, Mission Support, grantee, San Diego County, Mental Health Systems, behavioral healthcare, health, alcohol, drug

Mental Health Systems

Mission Statement: Mental Health Systems (MHS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1978 to provide innovative and cost-effective case management, mental health, drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services in the least restrictive, most appropriate settings. Our mission is to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities impacted by substance abuse and behavioral health disorders.

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Advancing Health and Wellness: MHS strives to improve access to quality behavioral healthcare by advancing the capacity and coordination of our services. Most programs are publicly funded and available to treat those who cannot afford privately paid services and for whom appropriate care would not otherwise be available. We offer a broad range of prevention, early intervention, integrated treatment, diversion and vocational programs to serve children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families. Since 1978, we have expanded to meet growing community wellness needs by evolving into an agency that provides timely, evidence-based behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment services. MHS constantly seeks to reach underserved populations in San Diego by developing and implementing services for those who need help most. All services are provided in a client-focused, compassionate manner. AHF’s Mission Support Grant would be used to fund MHS’ New Chapter Support Center at the new San Diego Central Library.

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Description: MHS seeks ways to effectively collaborate with other non-profit, government and community agencies for innovative solutions to provide better services for our clients. MHS’ New Chapter Support Center is a ground-breaking collaboration between MHS, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Public Library. The City of San Diego Library System consists of the Central Library and 35 branches, and the County of San Diego consists of 33 libraries. Of these 69 libraries, the program is the first of its kind. Local needs assessments identified mental/behavioral health a top issue. The City of San Diego has the fourth largest population of homeless in the nation, with 5,733 homeless. Between 20 to 25% have a severe mental illness. Public libraries are feeling the impact of these disparities. A national survey of public library supervisors found that more than half perceived there were more patrons with behavioral health challenges than when they started working there, 60 percent believed these patrons utilized a disproportionate amount of their time and resources, and more than 80 percent had to call the police regarding these patrons. Goals of our project are to assist the community of downtown San Diego in its fight to end homelessness and to support those who have behavioral health needs. By collaborating with library staff to connect patrons who need our services, MHS’ peer support specialist is able to link and engage homeless patrons who are interested in receiving information about no-cost mental health, housing and other requested social services such as food, showers and clothing.

Contact Information: Scott Suckow, Vice President of Development and Government Relations, Southern California, ssuckow@mhsinc.org, 858-573-2600 | www.mhsinc.org | Facebook Twitter | Linkedin

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