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Advocacy Resources

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?

Local Advocacy | An Introduction

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. 

Income Requirements:

  • 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:

  1. Sutter and Yuba Counties administer a joint public mental health system for residents of both Counties

  2. 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

  3. 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.

Advocacy Resources

Self-Paced Learning

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

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

Contact ACCESS California

Monday - Friday | 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM



(916) 573-0522


720 Howe Ave. Ste.102, Sacramento, CA 95825

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ACCESS California is a program of Cal Voices funded by the California Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63)
and by the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH)

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