Innovation Projects

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Innovation Community Program Planning Process. A total of 38 submissions were received from the public. A workgroup was assembled with eighteen participants across the county who reviewed all 38 submissions. Each participant voted for their top three choices.

The following proposals met criteria and got the most number of votes. The department will be pursuing the following Innovation ideas in the next year as funding is available.  

  • The Arts & Culture Program for Survivors of Trauma & Crime, submitted by Creativity Through Music. 

  • The Culturally-rooted Horticulture-assisted Psychotherapy and Somatic Practices, submitted by Semillas Counseling & Wellness

  • The Family Justice Center Peer Program, submitted by theVentura County District Attorney’s Office – Family Justice Center.

Do you have an Innovation Project idea?



Innovation projects provide opportunities to test out new approaches. They are funded through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and administered locally through Ventura County Behavioral Health.

Innovation projects are new and creative mental health approaches that are designed to be learned from. They have a fixed length with a clear beginning and end, and are carefully evaluated. It's a chance to try out new directions that might inform current and future mental health services in communities.


The current state and local priorities for mental health services are our unserved or underserved populations in Ventura County such as:

  • Latinx
  • Black and African American
  • Homeless
  • People with dual diagnosis (mental health and substance use disorders)
  • People at risk of suicide


Innovation projects must address at least one of these areas:

  1. Increase access to mental health services for underserved groups
  2. Increase the quality of mental health services, including measurable outcomes
  3. Promote interagency collaboration related to mental health services, supports, or outcomes
  4. Increase access to mental health services
  5. Increase access to mental health services, including permanent supportive housing


Conocimiento: Addressing ACEs through Core Competencies
Active 2019-2023
Prevention program aiming to utilize community collaboration to reduce adverse outcomes in adolescents living in poverty or with ACES by increasing core competencies and building resilience.


Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Electronic Health Record – CalMHSA Multi-County Project



Healing the Soul – Curando el Alma
Active 2017-2021
Explores the possibility of uniting traditional and western healing approaches for the Mixteco Indigenous population.
Learn more >

Children’s Accelerated Access to Treatment and Services (CAATS)

Active 2017-2020
Provides a comprehensive intake and mental health treatment for all youth entering the child welfare system in an accelerated timeframe.

Suicide Prevention - Bartenders as Gatekeepers

Active 2018-2021
Training for bartenders and alcohol servers in suicide prevention and intervention

Push Technology

Active 2018-2021
Reminders for youth and adults discharging from hospitals or crisis stabilization services, offering text messaging assessment, connection, and appointments.
Learn more >