The passage of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) initiated, at the state and local levels, the concept of transparent and collaborative processes being implemented to determine the mental health needs, priorities, and services for California mental health consumers and their families. Stakeholder contracts administered by the MHSOAC support the goals of system transformation by supporting the need for and development of a partnership between state and local level planning and program implementation. The MHSA was designed to change not only the way people accessed mental health services and participated in policy planning, but to change public perception and stigma associated with mental illness. Through support of stakeholder advocacy efforts, MHSA funding encourages dialogue to address not just the local needs of a community and region but to align with state level needs and priorities in a way that acknowledges and adheres to the diverse cultural values among California’s stakeholder community in a manner that is client and family driven, culturally competent, and collaborative in design.
Stakeholder advocacy contracts are awarded through a competitive bid process, as directed by the Legislature. This process is informed by gathering feedback and input from stakeholders, current contractors' and other interested parties. The ongoing goal is to provide a transparent experience that is informed by those currently involved in statewide advocacy efforts.
The Commission adminsters funding for stakeholder advocacy for the following populations:
- Clients and consumers
- Diverse racial and ethnic communities
- Family members of clients and consumers
- Immigrant and Refugree Communities
- LGTBQ communities
- Parents and caregivers of children and youth
- Transition-age youth
Request for Proposal (RFP) for Immigrant and Refugee Communities - Deadline April 5, 2019
The Commission is seeking proposals to support the advocacy, training and education, and outreach and engagement needs of immigrants and refugees. The goal of these contracts is to increase the number of available mental health programs, create awareness of and access to culturally appropriate services and supports, and provide opportunities to increase advocacy at the state and local level on behalf of immigrant and refugee populations in California.
The 2018/19 Budget Act included in the Commission’s budget, funds to support mental health advocacy on behalf of immigrant and refugee populations to be awarded through a competitive process in the amount of $670,000 per year.
Consistent with prior stakeholder contract planning and to ensure that community members were included in the planning process, staff designed an engagement strategy that included dissemination of an information survey, outreach to immigrant and refugee serving agencies, and a series of community listening sessions to hear from members of immigrant and refugee communities as well as cultural brokers and those working with or on behalf of immigrant and refugees.
Approximately 200 individuals participated in the community listening sessions which were held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and Oakland and provided an open forum for participants to share information about their experiences and explore the gaps and opportunities for improving access to mental health services among the immigrant and refugee communities in California. Participants were asked to provide feedback on barriers to seeking and receiving services and how identified needs could be addressed through training, outreach, and advocacy efforts.
The survey was used to collect information on the types of organizations and entities working across the state to support immigrant and refugee communities. Responses were received from more than 50 organizations across the state working with and on behalf of immigrant and refugee populations from approximately 47 different countries of origin.
Request for Proposal (RFP) Process
To prepare for the release of RFPs, the Commission facilitates a number of public engagement activities including interviews, public group meetings and listening sessions, and community surveys. The Commission also works with stakeholders, current contractors and other interested parties to gather feedback and input on stakeholder contract activities, lessons learned, and the needs of each population served by these contracts to provide a transparent experience that was informed by those currently involved in statewide advocacy efforts.