MHA Village opened in April 1990 after California’s Mental Health Department selected MHA to design a new mental health model built on an integrated services approach (this means we provide all the services and support individuals need to lead lives of greater independence in their community.)
We began as a pilot study, with an emphasis on outcomes to track our effectiveness. After our pilot phase, MHA Village became a permanent program, with a shift in funding from the state to the county level.
Innovative Service Delivery
The integrated services approach we pioneered became a model for AB 34 and 2034, California legislation to combat homelessness and incarceration among people with mental illness. We were chosen to operate two AB 34/2034 programs and served the system by tracking the effectiveness of projects across the state.
Most significantly, integrated services was identified as the approach for serving adults with mental illness in the Mental Health Services Act, enacted in 2005. As one of California’s greatest mental health reforms, the Act creates systems of care for adults, youth and children built on recovery principles and practices.
The MHA Village was recognized by the last two presidential administrations. In 2000, President Clinton’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities honored the MHA Village as a program that “exemplifies best employment practices for people with psychiatric disabilities;” it was one of only 24 programs chosen nationwide for this recognition.
In 2002, President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health selected the MHA Village as a model to study as it researches and recommends programs that work toward the President’s goal of enabling people with mental illness to participate more fully in their communities.