As of July 1, 2012, the California Department of Mental Health became the new Department of State Hospitals. The new department will focus on the care of patients in its seven forensic state hospitals.
As part of the Governor’s goal to give more local control to community mental health functions, many of those programs formerly under the purview of Department of Mental Health are being transitioned to other state departments and the counties. For a full listing of where the community mental health functions have been placed, see the “Reorganization of Department of Mental Health Functions" chart under the Reorganization of Community Mental Health section on this page.
New DMH Structure to Enhance Treatment, Safety and Fiscal Management
On December 7, 2011, the California Department of Mental Health announced the blueprint to establish the new Department of State Hospitals and reforms to the DMH structure designed to improve the mental hospital system in California.
“We are making the changes that are long overdue,” said DMH Acting-Director, Cliff Allenby. “Earlier this year, we brought in a team of experts who worked closely with administrative, clinical, and operations staff to develop an action plan to enhance care, increase safety measures, and improve the fiscal management of our state mental hospitals.”
Transition Plan Documents
- DMH Transition Plan - May 18, 2012
- Press Release - Dec. 7, 2011
- Transition Facts and Figures
- Transition Roadmap
- Report Files
- Title Page: Introduction
- Section 1: Summary of Major Findings
- Section 2: Management Assessment
- Section 3: Organizational Assessment
- Section 4: Weak Administrative Processes
- Section 5: Information Technology
- Section 6: Medical and other Patient Care Issues
- Section 7: Hospital Deficit
- Section 8: Other Issues
- Budget Summary
- Communication Handout
Reorganization of Community Mental Health Functions
As Community Mental Health programs are moved toward greater local control and oversight by other State departments, the Department of Mental Health will post updates and relevant information relating to this transition on this page.
DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH FUNCTIONS
This chart, Reorganization of Department of Mental Health Functions, outlines the proposed future placement of Department of Mental Health functions, programs, funding, and positions.
AB 100 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 5, Statutes of 2011) - provided a one-time redirection of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds to counties to support the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment, Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Managed Care, and AB 3632 special education programs for Fiscal Year 2011-12. The bill also changed the roles of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and DMH relative to the requirements of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), modified the requirements for the counties to provide annual updates to their Three-Year MHSA plans, and changed the responsibility for the administration of the Mental Health Services Fund.
AB 102 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 29, Statutes of 2011) - began the process of transferring the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Managed Care program, the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program, and all applicable functions relating to DMH’s portion of the Medi-Cal program, from DMH to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), effective July 1, 2012.
AB 1467(Committee on Budget, Chapter 23, Statutes of 2012) – omnibus Health trailer bill that transfers certain community mental health programs, including Caregiver Resource Centers, and remaining components of the MHSA, from DMH to DHCS, effective July 1, 2012.
AB 1470(Committee on Budget, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2012) – trailer bill that creates the Department of State Hospitals (DSH), and eliminated DMH. This bill also authorizes DSH to expand competency restoration programs for criminal defendants found Incompetent to Stand Trial into county jails, specifies that all DMH regulations pertaining to State Hospitals are enforceable by DSH, and states the intent of the Legislature that staff-to-patient ratios address adequate patient and staff safety.
SB 1009(Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 34, Statutes of 2012) – mental health realignment trailer bill that completes the reorganization of mental health services in California, including transferring specified licensing functions from DMH to the Department of Social Services, and remaining community mental health functions from DMH to DHCS, effective July 1, 2012.
LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
The proposed plan is to transfer current Department of Mental Health (DMH)/Licensing & Certification staff to the Department of Social Services (DSS), to continue performing the Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC)/Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) licensing functions.
For details, see the plan for Licensing and Certification 2012.
MHRCs and PHFs provide 24-hour, non-medical care and psychosocial rehabilitation to mentally ill individuals.
The Legislature’s intent in creating MHRCs and PHFs was to establish innovative programs as alternatives to hospital care.The Legislature also wanted to create a licensing category which provided appropriate staff and programs to adults with serious mental illnesses (SMI), as these individuals were being placed in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals which were established for the treatment of the elderly and physically and medically compromised population. Skilled nursing facilities and hospitals are licensed by the Department of Public Health.
The intent of DMH and DSS programs, with the exception of special treatment programs, are to keep clients out of institutions such as hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. DMH programs are intended to treat clients with less intensive medical needs in smaller community residential programs with a strong rehabilitative focus.
DSS community residential treatment programs possess a culture and focus which are consistent with DMH programs. DSS is familiar with smaller community residential programs serving people with SMI. In fact, clients who leave MHRCs and PHFs often go into Adult Residential Facilities, which are licensed by DSS.