Los Angeles County was allocated $60,219,600, one time funding over a span of ten years for workforce education and training purposes; all funds must be spent by fiscal year 2016 – 2017. The objectives are to develop trainings that promote mental health career development opportunities, expand postsecondary education capacity, expand loan repayment scholarship programs, create stipend programs, promote employment of clients and family members in the Mental Health system, and promote meaningful inclusion of client and family members in all training and education programs. Within the Workforce Education and Training component of MHSA, five funding categories are identified:
Workforce Staffing Support – This category includes the specific earmarking of funds to plan for, administer, support or evaluate the workforce programs and training included in the remaining four categories.
Training and Technical Assistance – This is a very broad funding category that is defined as events and activities in which individuals and/or organizations are paid with MHSA funds to assist all individuals who provide or support the public mental health system in better delivering services consistent with the fundamental principles intended by the Act.
Mental Health Career Pathway Programs – Mental health career pathway programs are educational, training and counseling programs that are designed to recruit and prepare individuals for entry into a career in the public mental health system.
Residency and Internship Programs – MHSA funding for psychiatric residency programs, internship programs leading to licensure and physician assistant programs with a mental health specialty are designed to address workforce shortages and supplement existing programs to increase the share of licensed professionals practicing in the community public mental health.
Financial Incentive Programs – Stipends and loan forgiveness programs are financial incentives to recruit and retain both prospective and current public mental health employees who meet employers’ needs for 1) workforce shortages of critical skills, 2) diversity and language proficiency shortfalls, and 3) promoting employment and career opportunities for individuals with consumers and family member experience in all public mental health positions.