Local public health officials and representatives from mental health organizations concluded that partnership and communication among federal, national, state, local and community partners is the first step to improve collaboration on public health, mental health and primary care. In 2005, NACCHO awarded $27,000 to three local health departments (LHDs) to:
- Establish a strategic planning coalition to address mental health from a clinical and public health approach; and
- Share lessons learned about coalition building and strategic planning with NACCHO and other LHDs.
It is anticipated that funded programs will become self-sustaining by leveraging additional funds once the project period ends.
Criteria for Demonstration Sites
The sites selected demonstrated a history of collaboration with various partners in their communities to integrate mental health and public health. Specifically, sites were asked to demonstrate involvement in broad-based planning coalitions. Special consideration was given to applicants able to demonstrate involvement in a coalition that could be modified to accept the charge of addressing mental health through a clinical and public health approach and/or demonstrate an established collaborative relationship with the mental health community.
The Work of the Demonstration Sites
Each selected grantee:
- Established a local coalition(s) to develop a strategic plan addressing mental health from a clinical and public health approach.
- Developed a work/action plan for the project, including responsibilities for each partner organization.
- Demonstrated how funds will be leveraged to sustain the program beyond the funding period.
- Shared lessons learned with NACCHO and described how they will be shared with other LHDs.