Since 1946, Cal Voices' core activities have focused on advocacy, outreach, education, and training initiatives designed to elevate the role of clients as primary stakeholders in the public mental health system. In all of our programs, we focus on engaging underserved communities traditionally underrepresented in mental health services. As such, our efforts include training stakeholders for local and statewide advocacy, employment in the mental health system, and capacity building services for client members of local boards and commissions; all while reducing the pervasive and insidious stigma and discrimination associated with mental health conditions.
We Support Evidence-based practices, such as Peer Support, in a Recovery-Based System
“Whether it's villagers in Uganda, farmers who have just moved to large cities in China, middle-class retirees in England, or patients of a large provider system in the US, we all benefit from feeling understood by someone who has “walked in my shoes.” We learn from each other and live healthier lives.”
- Edwin B. Fisher, Ph.D., (Global Evidence for Peer Support: Humanizing Health Care)
Cal Voices' effective advocacy efforts have been demonstrated both locally and on a statewide basis. Our statewide advocacy activities are rooted in the grassroots local and regional communities where we work daily engaging with clients across the lifespan regarding their needs, access to care issues, the level of cultural appropriateness of services, and their journeys towards wellness/recovery and resilience.
Currently, we operate Consumer Advocacy/Liaison programs imbedded in Placer and Sacramento counties. Since 1997, Cal Voices has provided consumer advocacy/liaison services to local counties and stakeholders, serving as a conduit between government entities and the mental health clients they serve. To promote and amplify the client voice, Cal Voices hosts several annual conferences, such as the Consumer Speaks and Recovery Happens conferences in Sacramento and Placer Counties, respectively. Cal Voices' advocates/liaisons also serve on local management teams in county behavioral health departments to elevate the role of clients in all aspects of public mental health program and policy development. Furthermore, our advocacy/liaison programs actively involve the grassroots communities across the lifespan, regularly assessing the local needs of stakeholders by convening ongoing expert pool groups, consumer council meetings, members’ meetings, and peer speaker’s bureaus.
It is important that we all advocate for the best version of SB 803 that included specified Peer Support Specialists Certifications with tailored comprehensive curriculum to serve consumers in specific populations (transition age, adult, parent, or family) by peers in specific populations.
If you would like to get involved in advocacy in your local community or on a statewide level, check out ACCESS California: