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Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission Update
FY 18/19 Annual Update


The Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC) provides oversight of county mental health and substance abuse services, advice to the Board of Supervisors and the Director of Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS), and advocates for mental health and substance abuse clients and issues.

The commission strives to involve diverse communities, key stakeholder organizations, and individuals and family members with lived experience—especially those who rely on the public mental health system and alcohol and other drug (AOD) services—in the design and evaluation of BHRS services. They also support BHRS’ efforts to balance program accountability and compliance with Federal, State and local laws and regulations with a continuing focus on quality and innovation. 

Accomplishments for FY 18/19 

  • New BHRS Director Selection Panel – participated in selection panel for the new BHRS Director, Scott Gilman, who took office January 2019.  
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) –  participated in the RFP process for BHRS contracts throughout the year.
  • Additional Activities and Accomplishments – participated in numerous meetings and events to both learn about community concerns and to raise awareness of mental health services and the Commission. Activities included: Housing Heroes Awards, supporting the PRIDE Initiative, and numerous Health Fairs throughout the county.

Provided leadership and participation in the planning, development and implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) programs and services: 

  • Updated MHSA Funding Principles – In preparation for the budget deficit, MHSA funding principles were re-introduced for input.   
  • Recommended to extend MHSA Innovation funding for the Pride Center – The request was reviewed and approved by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) at the State. 
  • Recommended to amend the MHSA Three-Year Plan – Made amendments to the plan to fund Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Full-Service Partnerships (FSP) – Laura’s Law, and Board and Care for individuals with a serious mental illness.   
  • Recommended a one-year extension of two MHSA Innovation projects – Extended the Health Ambassador Program for Youth (HAP-Y) and the Neuro-sequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) in an Adult System of Care.   
  • Approved an MHSA reserve goal – The reserve goal (prudent reserve and additional operating reserve) at 50% of the highest annual revenue was proposed and approved.  This allows for the flexibility in budgeting for short-term fluctuations in funding without having to go through the State’s administrative process to access the prudent reserve, if the revenue decline is less than the State’s threshold or funding is needed in a timely manner. 
  • Provided input on a preliminary Plan to Spend One-Time Available Funding – Recommended incorporating budget reduction impacts and additional analysis and input, including targeted input sessions to further involve stakeholders and clients/family members.   

MHSARC Annual Awards 

Daric Desautel, recipient of the 2019 George Culores Hall of Fame award

George Culores Hall of Fame Award – recognizes consumer/clients who have made contributions to better the lives of other consumer/clients; shown leadership in the consumer movement or have a personal journey of recovery that inspires and gives hope to others. 2019 recipient: Daric Desautel 

Tony Hoffman Awards – given to individuals, professionals, businesses, and the media who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people living with a mental illness and the San Mateo County community. 2019 Honorees were: Jefferey John Earl Edgerten (Service Provider); Jonay Grant (Service Provider); Psychiatric Response Team (PERT) 

David Lewis Award – recognizes outstanding contributions towards recovery. The honor is made to an individual or organization that has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with substance abuse disorders and the San Mateo County community. 2018 Recipient: Robert Bermudez. 

See the full MHSARC FY 18/19 Annual Report here 

Monthly Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission Meetings 

Regular public Commission meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month from 3:30–5 p.m. (except August). The meetings are generally held at the County Health Building, 225 37th Avenue, Room 100, San Mateo, CA  94403.   

Learn more about the MHSARC at