Stakeholder Advocacy

Enhancing local participation and voice by informing, educating, and advocating for eight specific populations.

Stakeholder Engagement & Advocacy

In approving the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) in 2004, California voters mandated the use of transparent and collaborative processes in determining the mental health needs, priorities, and services. The Act aims to change the way people access mental health services and participate in policy planning. It also seeks to change public perception and reduce the stigma associated with mental health challenges.

Through MHSA funding, the Commission awards contracts to local and state-level organizations to provide advocacy, training, education, and outreach on behalf of eight specific populations.

Transformation of the Mental Health System Through Partnerships

The Commission contracts with stakeholder organizations to advocate in support of the MHSA’s goals, in particular through the engagement of eight populations:

  • Clients and Consumers
  • Diverse Racial and Ethnic communities
  • Families
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • LGBTQ+ populations
  • Parents and Caregivers
  • Transition Age Youth
  • Veterans

The contracted stakeholder organizations advocate for a state and local system that is client and family-driven, culturally competent, and collaborative in design.

These contracts support statewide and local community-led events which highlight mental health services for underserved populations and provide opportunities to reduce stigma and inform state and local leaders about the needs of underserved populations.


The Mental Health Services Act was pioneering in its requirement that transparent and collaborative processes be used for determining mental health needs, priorities, and services at the state and local level. In addition, the act provides funding to support the vigorous engagement of stakeholders in the mental health system.

Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code Section 5892(d) requires that the Mental Health Services administrative fund “include funds to assist consumers and family members to ensure the appropriate state and county agencies give full consideration to concerns about quality, the structure of service delivery, or access to services.”

The Commission is currently contracted with 12 local and state-level organizations to conduct advocacy, outreach, engagement, training, and education for eight specific unserved and underserved populations.

On February 27, 2020, The Commission awarded $12 million in contracts for Clients and Consumers, Diverse Racial and Ethnic Communities, Families of Clients and Consumers, LGBTQ+ Communities, Parents and Caregivers, and Veteran Communities.

The Commission awarded a $2 million contract for Transition Age Youth on August 22, 2019.

It awarded $2 million in contracts for Immigrant and Refugee populations on April 25, 2019.

Reach out to learn more about Stakeholder Partnerships