The Innovation (INN) component of MHSA offers our County the opportunity to work with community advisors and partners to develop and test unique practices for mental health services and systems. An Innovation project is designed to contribute to learning, rather than providing a service. Innovation projects must be unique in application, having not been tried elsewhere in the state. Innovation funding is used for the purpose of developing, adopting, or adapting a process that is then applied to an aspect of mental health services. The objective then moves to testing the model, evaluating the model, and sharing the results with the statewide mental health system. Innovation projects are similar to pilot or demonstration projects and are subject to time limitations for assessing and evaluating their efficacy.
The development of the San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Department (SLOBHD) Innovation Plan is overseen by an Innovation Advisory Committee. The group is constructed of community members, representatives of local non-profit organizations, academics in project methodology and evaluation, and mental health advocates. They are responsible for guiding the planning process, analyzing local input, and selecting projects in accordance with community priorities.