mental health services act full service partnership program (MHSA-FSP) Established in 2006, MHSA-FSP is a partnership between FCNI and SLO County Behavioral Health Services Department. Through this collaboration, the agency’s Rehabilitation Specialists provide services on specialized MHSA intensive service teams. These teams serve the entire county, providing much needed mental health services to underserved children and youth. Since its inception, MHSA-FSP has served 588 children/youth and 92% of the program days were successful based on the following outcomes: • Maintained in home or in a stable living environment • Diverted from hospitalization 2017-2018 Outcomes Youth/Families Served 42 Total Program Days 11,309 Successful Program Days 95% olly and axel Olly and Axel, at only 9 and 7, had their lives completely derailed when their parents were arrested. They were put into a new home with new caregivers, enrolled at a new school with new kids and expectations. Even though the brothers were placed with family friends, Evan and Josie, people who knew and loved them, the transition still left them emotionally unstable. The boys struggled with past trauma and being seperated from their parents. Evan and Josie, new to parenthood, found themselves dealing with tantrums, bed wetting, sibling rivalry, and homework and bedtime arguments. For critical support, the family was referred to FCNI’s MHSA-FSP program. FCNI met with the family to learn more about them and talk through everyone’s needs in order to create a plan. Staff began meeting with the family once a week for several hours, helping the boys to build coping and communication skills, and showing Evan and Josie how to support their emotional needs. Staff also worked with the whole family to set up new routines to help the boys feel secure. The boys first needed help identifying their emotions and needs, after which staff could show them different ways to self-regulate themselves when anxious or stressed. Triggers for the boys seemed to exist around every corner, so Evan, Josie and their team tried different interventions and had to revise in the moment based on what did and didn’t work. Time and affection were the key ingredients to this family’s success. It took time for the whole team to build trust and rapport, and for the boys to learn to express themselves. Eventually, the boys could voice how much comfort they received when Evan, Josie and even workers held their hands or hugged them during emotional outbursts. The team then really focused on employing empathy and affection with the boys, demonstrating physically that the boys were deeply cared for and being heard. Slowly the boys changed from being highly reactive to calmly voicing their needs and advocating for themselves. Today, the new family finds real joy in one another, having weathered so much together already. And even though they still have a lot to learn as they all grow and change, they still enjoy the simple tools which helped bond them in the beginning—a hand to hold, a hug when needed and just being comforted when things get hard. 16