Wellbeing for all Californians
The far-reaching language of the Mental Health Services Act that California voters approved in 2004 calls for transformational change in mental health care in the state and gives the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission the authority and responsibility to drive that change.
Visibility: How the Act is being implemented.
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The Commission’s primary function is to oversee the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).
To that end, the Commission distributes grants, collects and shares spending and efficacy data on local programs, spreads best practices, conducts research into critical subject areas like criminal justice involvement of people with mental health needs, and engages experts to develop policy proposals and other pathbreaking solutions.
The Act charges the Commission with reviewing county spending of MHSA money for prevention and early intervention programs. The Commission also distributes money raised through the Act for local innovation projects that launch new approaches to administration and treatment, like drop-in youth centers.
Another of the Commission’s continuing endeavors is to develop ways to overcome the stigma that people living with mental health challenges often face.
At times, the Commission advises the Governor and Legislature on mental health policy. In addition, lawmakers have periodically given the Commission new responsibilities, including distributing grants to expand mental health services in schools, helping develop voluntary standards to support mental health in the workplace, and helping to build a statewide suicide prevention plan.