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San Diego County Behavioral Health Services

​HSRC provides data analysis and performance monitoring to San Diego County Behavioral Health Services in support of their Quality Improvement (QI) Unit. This large project also involves tracking and evaluating Mental Health Services Act programs and services, reporting on MHSA programs at the County, level of care, and program levels.  

​As part of this effort we work closely with stakeholders throughout the public mental health system. This includes the Behavioral Health administration, with whom we collaborate to refine evaluation strategies and QI members who can provide detailed information on monitoring of programs, program administrators who can provide insight into the challenges of measuring outcomes of their clients, program staff who provide input on the clinical usefulness of evaluation measures, and clients who provide feedback on the perceived usefulness of outcomes measures, and who are consulted regularly to assess satisfaction with services as well as service needs and gaps.

​HSRC works collaboratively with many diverse interest and stakeholder groups including consumer, community, and healthcare organizations.  Evaluation related activities have included running focus groups and interviews with stakeholder advisory groups, developing research measurement tools for providers and then training hundreds of providers in their use, validating measures in clinical settings with consumers, and reporting and dissemination of research results to providers and the community. 

​The breadth of our involvement in the public mental health system adds a depth of understanding that both strengthens our evaluations and orients them to be more client and recovery focused.  Our involvement also makes our findings more credible and more useable to stakeholders who ultimately make or are affected by decisions regarding mental health services or strategies.

​Supporting Projects 

​The Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) 

The Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) is a collaborative project between San Diego mental health services programs and the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). The PEI project was implemented following the Mental Health Services Prevention and Early Intervention Act, which increased funding for mental health services in the state of California.  

HSRC is responsible for the program evaluation for adult and older adult PEI programs. In addition, HSRC designed a web-based data system and online survey data entry forms to accommodate data collection and reporting for all PEI programs in San Diego County.

In addition to many program-specific goals, the PEI programs taking part in this project share some common goals, including:

  • Increased public awareness and understanding of mental illness
  • Improved prevention efforts for people at risk of mental illness
  • Reduction of stigma towards people with mental illness  

 Targeted projects were designed and implemented to meet each program's goals. The media campaign aims to meet the common PEI goals, as well as to increase suicide prevention through media and education targeting underserved and un-served populations in San Diego County.  Other projects include culturally appropriate education-media for the Hispanic/Latino community, linkages and referrals for military veterans and their families, and mental health screenings for individuals participating in alcohol and drug services programs.  Additionally, several programs have implemented interventions intended to increase access to health care, prevent or reduce mental health symptoms, and reduce ethnic disparities in care for transitional age youth (TAY), adults, older adults, and those living in rural communities.


In 2018, San Diego County Behavioral Health Services, in partnership with the Health Services Research Center (HSRC), began the development of ClubHOMS, a system for data collection and reporting for San Diego County Clubhouses. Clubhouses are organizations open to people who have a history of mental illness where members can participate in activities that support their recovery. ClubHOMS was developed to improve the ability to track the usage and effectiveness of County-funded clubhouse programs. 

HSRC collaborated with stakeholders, including program directors and staff, to develop measures to track clubhouse activities and member outcomes, design reports that would yield useful information for the County and the clubhouses, and identify desired system features. ClubHOMS was fully launched on July 1, 2019. HSRC continues to provide ongoing technical support and program evaluation expertise.

Community Services and Supports

Community Services and Supports (CSS) programs enhance the systems of care for delivery of mental health services for adults and older adults with serious mental illness (SMI), resulting in the highest benefit to the client, family, and community.  CSS is the largest component of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and includes client and family driven services that focus on wellness and integrated service experiences for clients and families, as well as providing services for traditionally un-served and underserved populations.  The CSS component includes Full Service Partnerships (FSP), which are designed to provide comprehensive services to the highest-need clients in the system (e.g., those with severe mental illness/emotional disturbance who have co-occurring histories of homelessness, incarceration, and/or institutionalization) as well as services for those who may not qualify for FSP services.  FSP programs provide a full array of services to clients and families using a “whatever it takes” approach to help stabilize the client and provide timely access to needed help for unserved and underserved adults of all ages.  Other programs funded through CSS provide outreach and engagement activities. 

The ultimate goal of this project is to increase San Diego County Behavioral Health Services (SDCBHS) ability to understand and improve upon the quality of services offered by the CSS programs and programs that supports the mental health services offered by SDCBHS contracted providers. 

This is accomplished with the following:

  • Collect, analyze, and report client outcome data for designated Adult and Older Adult Behavioral Health Services (AOABHS) programs.
  • Maintain and modify as necessary an effective and secure system to distribute, collect, and report on State satisfaction surveys.
  • Provide ongoing consultation to the SDCBHS related to the review and analysis of the system and program-specific outcomes associated with the MHSA.  Consultation shall involve the evaluation, review and analysis of the outcomes of the MHSA programs, measurement of client outcomes, ongoing improvement and refinement of the system of reporting by the County-contracted programs, and development of additional outcomes, as needed, to measure the achievement of the objectives and goals of recovery.
  • HSRC staff provides services as needed to consult on standard outcomes measures including IMR and RMQ. 

Each year this project produces the following list of broad range of reports (the project’s deliverables) to SDCBHS:

  • Annual Systemwide MHS Databook
  • Annual Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Factsheets
  • Annual Special Populations Report
  • Annual Program-Level MHS Databook
  • Annual CSS Report
  • Annual BHS System of Care Report
  • Annual FSP Program-Level Reports
  • Annual FSP ACT Summary Report
  • Biannual State Survey Reports
  • ​Biannual Homefinder Outcomes Report
  • Quarterly Research on Publications
  • Quarterly Mental Health PIP Status Updates
  • Quarterly TAY Data Extracts
  • Quarterly BHS Performance Dashboards
  • Quarterly Adult and Older Adult Demographic Reports
  • Quarterly FSP Reports
  • Quarterly mHOMs Snapshot Tool
  • Ad Hoc Reports requested by SDCBHS