Community Network Roundtables
The purpose of Community Network Roundtables is to reduce stigma and discrimination, increase access to mental health services, and build capacity to connect, support, and empower consumers, families, parents, caregivers, youth, and children. It is also intended to bring coordinated stigma reduction activities to local counties and regions as part of statewide efforts to reduce these damaging impacts.
Goals of the Community Roundtables
- Develop and implement contact strategies to reduce stigma and discrimination in their County;
- Coordinate a statewide public awareness campaign with CalMHSA and its partners;
- Engage 12 CalMHSA Counties to enhance existing efforts, share best practices and successes and to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination through this statewide effort.
Regional Outreach & Engagement Strategies
- Meet with the mental health/behavioral health/agency directors and CalMHSA liaison of each county selected for this opportunity. Given the nature of CalMHSA funding and the need for sustained efforts beyond the available funding, it has been imperative to have county departments buy-in to this effort from the very beginning. The goal is to inform the directors of the scope and breadth of the project and expected outcomes. Every director thus far has assigned key management staff to work with the UACF team to accomplish the goals and objectives of this initiative.
- Basic Objective: To establish a SDR Roundtable Planning Group to create a plan for a larger stakeholder SDR Roundtable, which is representative of the diversity and geography of the county. The primary goal of this roundtable stakeholder group is to develop a SDR plan that incorporates existing efforts and an analysis of gaps that the county may want the SDR initiative to invest its resources for training and community outreach efforts, especially to under-served populations in the county. Sustainability of these efforts is highlighted from the very beginning of the process.
- Structure (Community Building): An important part of the SDR initiative is to reach into the “grass roots” level of the community to the under-served populations of the county. We have done this by sub-contracting with local community based organizations (CBO), which is guided by the county directors or his/her designated staff. The CBO’s scope of work includes receiving “Tell Your Story” training and the development of a community outreach plan to engage identified target populations in the roundtable. We have also begun an outreach to faith based communities as part of our enhancement grant opportunities, which has been welcomed by each county we have approached thus far.
As mentioned earlier, sustainability of these efforts has been a core component of the roundtable planning discussions. We have found that every county we have engaged thus far have, to a greater or lesser degree, a stigma/discrimination effort underway and have identified both universal and population specific strategies in place. Our efforts have either enhanced existing efforts or created opportunities for new ones to emerge which this initiative has afforded. Partnerships between the County, interested stakeholders and CBOs, and the continued planning efforts as a direct result of the CalMHSA/UACF SDR initiative, will insure the sustainability of stigma reduction efforts.