Prevention & Early Intervention

Shifting the emphasis of the mental health system to the early detection of and intervention in mental health challenges

Well and Thriving

Everyone should have the opportunity to be well and thrive, yet one in four people worldwide will experience a significant disruption to their mental wellbeing at some point in their lifetime. Though these disruptions often result from complex individual, relational, societal, and cultural factors, research shows that well-timed interventions can prevent or lessen serious mental health challenges.
“All Californians should have the opportunity to thrive. Many will experience challenges to their mental wellbeing at some point during their lifetime. Effective prevention and early intervention strategies that work as upstream as possible must be deployed and sustained in all of our communities to reduce the suffering and loss of life that can result when mental health needs go unaddressed.”
Mara Madrigal-Weiss

Commission Vice Chair and Project Chair, MHSOAC

Goal/Opportunity

This project aims to identify opportunities for promoting early intervention as threats to mental health emerge to prevent them from becoming more severe.

The project will produce data monitoring and technical support strategies for the Commission to use to further the vision of prevention and early intervention called for by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

Background

California voters passed the MHSA to transform the state’s mental health systems by providing additional resources for mental health care, prioritizing prevention and early intervention, and supporting innovative approaches to meeting needs.

In early 2019, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission launched a policy research project to explore opportunities for prevention and early intervention in mental health. Guided by a directive from the Governor and Legislature (Chapter 843, Statutes of 2018), the Commission also sought to explore opportunities to promote the Prevention and Early Intervention component of the Mental Health Services Act through evaluation and technical support.

Next Steps

  1. Complete project activities

    Research and community engagement activities are underway to support the development of the Commission’s final project report and its conclusions.

  2. Complete final project report

    A draft of the final project report will be made available for public input prior to approval by the Subcommittee and adoption by Commission.

  3. Advance the adopted report’s directives

    Commission staff will work with other partners to implement the directives outlined in the Commission’s adopted report.

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