In a large and diverse state like California with more than 39 million people, there is a growing need for high-quality, affordable, and accessible behavioral health care services. About 1 in 5 California adults (21.2%) reported needing help for emotional/mental health problems or misuse of alcohol and/or drugs in 2018, according to the California Health Interview Survey.
To help meet the needs of vulnerable residents, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) engaged AIR to conduct research and evaluations to improve integrated behavioral health services and systems. Using both primary and secondary data, AIR is conducting research and multiyear evaluations of county programs, including the integrated medication-assisted treatment program; the full service partnership program, a wraparound care model; and the assisted outpatient treatment program, also known as Laura’s Law and designed to assist the small population of individuals who meet strict legal criteria and who—as a result of their mental illness—are unable to voluntarily access community mental health services.
As part of the project, AIR is
- conducting economic analyses using systematic application of a standard economic evaluation framework and combination of effectiveness and cost data; providing context for ad hoc requests within broader policy so analyses fulfill time-sensitive needs efficiently;
- generating and presenting reports outlining analyses with discussion of results for dissemination; collaborating with BHRS on planning, scoping, and selecting appropriate methods for special projects, such as developing, administering, and analyzing surveys;
- assessing implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practice through incorporation of fidelity measures into data collection; and
- conducting qualitative case studies involving site visits and interviews with providers.
AIR also is working closely with county personnel to develop specific steps to address findings of the analyses.