The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) includes a rare and explicit commitment to fostering innovation in providing services and supports. The law requires counties to utilize 5% of their MHSA funds on innovation projects and charges the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) with approving those projects. The MHSA’s Innovation component responds to the high costs and profound suffering associated with unaddressed mental health needs and the limitations of current services on those adverse outcomes. 


The Innovation component of MHSA provides funding for projects not to exceed 5 years that do one or more of the following:

  • Introduce a mental health practice or approach that is new to the overall mental health system, including, but not limited to, prevention and early intervention.
  • Make a change to an existing practice in the field of mental health, including but not limited to, application to a different population.
  • Apply to the mental health system a promising community-driven practice or approach that has been successful in non-mental health contexts or settings.
  • Mental health practices or approaches that have already demonstrated effectiveness are only eligible with an adaptation and rationale for the adaptation.


The primary purpose of an Innovation project shall be one of the following:

  • Increase access to mental health services to underserved groups
  • Increase the quality of mental health services
  • Promote interagency and community collaboration related to mental health services and supports or outcomes
  • Increase access to mental health services

Current Project - Third Sector Multi-County Full Service Partnership (FSP) Innovation Project

Lake County is embarking on a multi-county Innovation Project (PDF) focusing on Full Service Partnership (FSP) services.This project is focused on creating a data-driven Full-Service Partnership (“FSP”) that will increase the local capacity together and use data to better design, implement, and manage FSP services across various age groups and populations, with the ultimate goal of better understanding important client outcomes and continuously working to improve them.

CalMHSA serves as the administrative oversight for this innovation project and will contract with Third Sector who will be the lead contractor. This project has been developed as a multi-county collaborative, as such, CalMHSA will ensure additional counties are incorporated into the project as appropriate.


The Multi-County FSP Innovation Project’s five goals will build counties’ capacity to collect and use data to improve outcomes. When the Project is complete, counties will have increased capacity for collecting and using data for FSP services. These improvements will not only support participating counties’ clients in their recovery, but they will also be shared to improve the statewide system.

  • Develop a shared understanding and more consistent interpretation of FSP’s core components across counties, creating a common FSP framework
  • Increase the clarity and consistency of enrollment criteria, referral, and graduation processes through developing and disseminating clear tools and guidelines across stakeholders
  • Improve how counties define, track, and apply priority outcomes across FSP programs
  • Develop a clear strategy for tracking outcomes and performance measures through various state-level and county-specific reporting tools
  • Develop new and/or strengthen existing processes for continuous improvement that leverage data to foster learning, accountability, and meaningful performance feedback


Past Innovation Projects


View annual Innovation Reports in the Archive Center.