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Innovation (INN)

Published on: 7/25/2016 4:38 PM

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation (INN) funds provide exciting opportunities to learn something new that has the potential to transform the behavioral health system. An Innovation program is defined as one that contributes to learning and one that tries out new approaches that can inform current and future practices.

Pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5830, all MHSA Innovation projects included in the innovative program portion of the county plan shall meet the following requirements:
(1)  Address one of the following purposes as its primary purpose:


  •  Increase access to underserved groups.
  • Increase the quality of services, including measurable outcomes.
  • Promote interagency and community collaboration.
  • Increase access to services.


(2)  Support innovative approaches by doing one of the following:

  •  Introducing new mental health practices or approaches, including, but not limited to, prevention and early intervention.
  •  Making a change to an existing mental health practice or approach, including, but not limited to, adaptation for a new setting or community. 
  • Introducing a new application to the behavioral health system of a promising community-driven practice or an approach that has been successful in non-ment​al health contexts or settings.
In general, INN projects are time-limited projects. If an innovative project has proven to be successful and a county chooses to continue it, the project shall transition to another category of funding as appropriate.
The County’s initial Innovation Plan was authorized by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on August 24, 2010, and subsequently approved by the State on September 23, 2010. Below is Santa Clara County’s initial INN plan.  
MHSA Innovation Project Reports:
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) Innovation information: