Sacramento—To ensure that mental health consumers and their families can inform mental health policy and program decisions, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) today announced the intent to award $12 million for mental health advocacy. This funding, which comes from the Mental Health Services Act, will provide additional capacity-building support to the people most affected by community mental health services. The contracts will promote enhanced access to care, help counties to ensure they provide culturally competent mental health services, and improve public understanding of mental health needs. The newly released funds will be used to cover a broad range of state and local activities, including outreach, training and education, and advocacy.
The Commission provides funding for stakeholder advocacy on behalf of organizations that work with the following populations:
• LGBTQ Community
• Mental Health Consumers
• Transition Age Youth
• Parents of Children with Mental Health Needs
• Families of Adults with Mental Health Needs
• Diverse Racial and Ethnic Populations with Mental Health Needs
In releasing these funds, the Chair of the Commission, Tina Wooton, who also works as a Consumer Empowerment Manager for the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness, commented, “These funds are intended to ensure that the voices and concerns of the people most affected by our community mental health system truly matter in the decisions that affect them.”
The Commission was established under Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, passed by California voters in 2004. The Act places a one percent tax on personal incomes of more than $1 million and funds community mental health programs and services throughout the state. In 2017, the Act is expected to generate $1.9 billion.