FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2006
Kirsten Y. Macintyre
Assistant Director, External Affairs
STATE LAUNCHES WEB SITE FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, THEIR FAMILIES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS
Network of Care (www.networkofcare.org) provides online access to comprehensive mental health services tailored to each of the state’s 58 counties
SACRAMENTO – A newly launched community-based Web site funded by the Mental Health Services Act (formerly Proposition 63) will provide localized resources, information and support for millions of Californians whose lives are affected by mental illness, state Department of Mental Health Director Dr. Stephen W. Mayberg announced today. Called the Network of Care for Mental/Behavioral Health, the site will serve as an online information place designed for people with mental illness, their families and healthcare providers. Users will be able to locate information about services available, mental health issues and current policy initiatives. The site will also help people better manage their affairs, interactions and important records.
“One in five Californians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and millions more will struggle to help a family member in need,” Mayberg said. “Navigating the behavioral healthcare system can be daunting and frustrating, particularly in a time of crisis. The Network of Care Web site will provide a critical service by enabling people in need to quickly locate help and as well as invaluable assistance to service providers.”
Organized into 58 county-specific sections, the Network of Care for Mental/Behavioral Health site provides a comprehensive service directory of behavioral healthcare providers, easy-to-search libraries and vital information about specific disorders, information on pending legislation and advocacy efforts, daily news articles concerning mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse, as well as community calendars and message boards.
The site was designed with accessibility in mind and is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each county-specific mental health section includes a text-only version for users with visual impairments and features 12 fact sheets about the most common mental-health diagnoses and services, hand-translated by the National Institute for Mental Health into the following languages: Spanish, Cantonese, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Cambodian.
“We fully expect this site to serve as a pilot program for the rest of the nation,” said Bruce Bronzan, the president of Trilogy Integrated Resources LLC of San Rafael, which created, developed and maintains the site through an agreement with the State Department of Mental Health.
Proposition 63, passed by California voters in November 2004, provides mental health funding through an additional 1 percent tax on incomes over $1 million. This funding was used to develop Network of Care for Mental/Behavioral Health and will cover first-year maintenance costs. The county-specific areas of the site were developed with the input of the local county departments of mental health.
Reporters are encouraged to view the site and contact their county Department of Mental Health for more information about local resources and outreach efforts. For technical information about the site itself, please contact Trilogy at (415) 458-5900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.