In its August 4th blog update, the California's Little Hoover Commission restated its 2015 and 2016 recommendations for strengthening the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). These recommendations include stronger oversight of public mental health care programs, increased transparency of public mental health spending, and increased state accountability for program outcomes. Also referenced in the blog post is an op-ed by the Little Hoover Commission’s Chairman which additionally recommends increased public engagement in mental health decision making, and replicating effective programs to increase positive outcomes.
Cal Voices and our statewide advocacy program, ACCESS California, support this call to action. Cal Voices is dedicated to improving the lives of public mental health system consumers through advocacy, research and education, with the ultimate goal of access to effective services and programs for all consumers. COVID-19 has not only created an increased need for public mental health system services, it is also causing reductions in the county funding which is necessary to provide these services. Now, more than ever, we must realize the promise of the MHSA, which envisions consumers at the forefront of a transformed, consumer-driven mental health system. This promise will not be realized until systems are held accountable for consumer access and outcomes, and stakeholders, with consumers first and foremost, are meaningfully involved in all aspects of MHSA program conception, planning, implementation, budgets, and evaluation.
Read the Blog
Read the Op-Ed