Behavorial Health staff members sitting at a table presenting innovation projects to the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.
Behavioral Health team presented the innovation projects to the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

Innovative New Programs Serve Young Children, LGBTQ Clients

Author: Behavioral Health Department
Date: 9/19/2018 12:12:02 PM

Two new projects from the Behavioral Health Department will bolster services for young children and LGBTQ clients across SLO County.

The two projects are part of the department’s Mental Health Services Act “Innovation” component and recently received unanimous approval by the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC):

3-by-3: Developmental Screening Partnership between Parents and Pediatric Practices is a project to connect more young children with important screenings and test three behavioral health screening methods for children 0-3 years of age.

Affirming Cultural Competence Education and Provider Training: Offering Innovative Solutions to Increase LGBTQ Health Care Access (SLO ACCEPTance) will test a new curriculum for preparing behavioral health care providers to be more confident and skilled when providing LGBTQ-affirming services.

Innovation funding allows each county to test new models of service, training, and system development in public mental health fields. The projects in SLO County will be tested for three years, with six months each of preparation and evaluation.

Community members are key to the projects’ development and success. The projects are developed in collaboration with consumers, partners, and providers and are vetted, prioritized, and ultimately chosen to go forward by community stakeholders. The recent approval by the state commission follows a local approval process that began in March.


3-by-3 presents a unique and innovative attempt to solve a difficult problem: most developmental delays in children will go undetected until the children attend kindergarten or other school interventions. Catching and addressing mental health, behavioral, or developmental challenges early is the first step to connecting children with treatment during key early years of development. In this project developed with First 5 San Luis Obispo, young children will be screened at home, in Community Health Centers (CHC), and in private pediatricians’ practices. The project will help identify best practices for childhood social/emotional screening.


SLO ACCEPTance earned statewide interest during the approval process and was widely supported when it was presented at the MHSOAC hearing in August. Lessons from this project hold the potential to inform best practices across California and beyond. SLO ACCEPTance was developed with local LGBTQ advocates, Cal Poly faculty, students, Transitions Mental Health Association, Community Counseling Center, and many other partners. After presentations by Nestor Veloz-Passalacqua (ASO II, Innovation Coordinator) and Frank Warren (Division Manager, MHSA Coordinator), advocates from around the state spoke in support of the project.

Both projects are slated to launch this quarter. For more information, read the County’s Mental Health Services Act Innovation Plan here, or contact Nestor Veloz-Passalacqua for more information.