In MHSA PEI program development, outcomes should be tied to community needs and priority populations identified in stakeholder processes. These outcomes are not necessarily outcomes identified by a particular practice, but instead outcomes desired by stakeholders and identified in planning.
Intended outcomes that programs focus on should be mental health prevention and early intervention outcomes, even if program activities occur in other fields such as education, juvenile justice, substance abuse prevention, etc. This makes sense since MHSA PEI is about mental health prevention and early intervention. Even if activities occur in other fields, the key outcomes should not be outcomes that are un-related to mental health prevention and early intervention.
Mental health PEI outcomes can be expressed in terms of reduction of risk factors, development of protective/resiliency factors, reduction of early signs and symptoms, and reduction in negative consequences for early onset of mental illness.
PEI outcomes should be manageable (not too many) and meaningful to mental health PEI.
Although it is good to track activities (number of people receiving a certain type of service), note that outcomes are the results of activities. Activities themselves are not considered mental health outcomes. For example, the number of parenting classes held in a year is an accounting of activities, not of outcomes. Although it is good to count how many classes are held, don’t confuse this count of activities with an outcome. An outcome would be tied to the mental health prevention and early intervention goal of the activity, such as a reduction in parental reports of anxiety symptoms and mood symptoms tied to their parenting at some interval after taking parenting classes or a reduction in reports of conduct problems or symptoms of depression in their children.
See below for documents and reports demonstrating the effectiveness of programs funded by MHSA PEI and INN funds.
In a blog post on the website of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Kristin Schubert writes she remembers when her professional focus changed fundamentally to include the effects of violence on health after she read the Adverse Childhood Experience’s (ACE) study in 2007. ACE researchers found that the more trauma a child experiences, the more … Continue reading Childhood Trauma, Better Outcomes
The reports provide the first statewide snapshot of CalMHSA’s work to implement groundbreaking PEI programs, and represent nearly 2 years of collaboration between RAND, CalMHSA staff and CalMHSA program partners to develop outcome measures and evaluation processes. http://calmhsa.org/programs/evaluation/
UCLA collected information about PEI expenditures, programs/activities and participant demographics for FY 2011-12 from counties through a process developed in collaboration with an Evaluation Advisory Group comprised of county department of mental health representatives. This report documents PEI expenditures, programs/activities and the demographics of people that participated during FY 2011-12 Executive Summary Prevention and Early … Continue reading PEI Report to the MHSOAC
This report concludes the Mental Health and the Accountability Commission have provided little oversight of counties’ implementation of MHSA programs, particularly as it relates to evaluating whether these programs are effective. However, looking to the future, the opportunity exists for the state entities responsible for oversight to better demonstrate the effectiveness of the MHSA. https://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2012-122.pdf