Local Advocacy | An Introduction
Advocacy isn't just something ACCESS does. It's one of our program's core values. So what is advocacy supposed to look like under the MHSA?
In California, public mental health services are available to individuals who meet specific eligibility requirements. Adults in need of assistance must meet both income requirements and medical necessity requirements to receive public mental health services. These requirements are listed below.
Persons with Medi-Cal or
Persons with low income (less than 200% of the federal poverty level) or no income, and no health insurance
Medical Necessity Requirements:
A diagnosable mental illness; and
Difficulty functioning in an important area of life-functioning, or the probability of significant deterioration in an important area of life; and
The expectation is that the proposed treatment will significantly reduce the problem or prevent significant deterioration in an important area of life-functioning; and
A condition that would not be responsive to physical health care based treatment
Local public mental health services are administered at the county level. There are three exceptions:
Sutter and Yuba Counties administer a joint public mental health system for residents of both Counties
The City of Berkeley administers its own public mental system for city residents, which is separate from the public mental health system administered by Alameda County
Tri-Cities Mental Health Center administers its own public mental system for residents of Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne, which is separate from the public mental health system administered by Los Angeles County
Therefore, local mental health advocacy takes place in your home county or within the agency that administers public mental health services in the area where you live.
ACCESS has developed a series of web-based learning modules to assist individuals learning about the California Public Mental Health System, MHSA and Local Advocacy.
Click on a Module to begin
Module 1: Local Advocacy 101
Module 2: MHSA 101
Module 3: Shared Power and Collaborative Decision Making
Module 4: California Public Mental Health System
ACCESS provides in-person and virtual trainings to teach community stakeholders and leaders in the public mental health system about the Mental Health Services Act. We also provide trainings the unique needs faced by justice-involved individuals and their families.
Visit our training page for a full list of our trainings.
Other Advocacy Resources
ACCESS has develop the following resources to assist individuals with advocating on behalf of individuals living with behavioral health conditions.
Add links here