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California Behavioral Health Ecosystem

The California behavioral health ecosystem includes the California Legislature, the overarching state law called the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), and various California agencies, oversight bodies and training providers.

This illustration maps out the various top-level MHSA-focused entities:

California Legislature

The Welfare & Institutions Code Division 5: Community Mental Health Services is the over-arching code for California’s mental health services. The Bronzan-McCorquodale Act contains the code more specifically focused on the duties and responsibilities of Behavioral Health Advisory Boards (BHABs).

Senate Committee on Human Services| Budget: Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services
Jurisdiction: Bills relating to CalWORKs and other welfare programs; CalFresh; child welfare and foster care; services to persons with disabilities, including those provided by regional centers and the state’s developmental centers; in-home supportive services (IHSS); aging and long-term care; community care licensing; and, social services and rehabilitative services, in general.

Assembly Committee on Human Services| Budget: Subcommittee 1 on Health and Human Services
Jurisdiction: Includes child welfare services, foster care, child care, adoption assistance, CalWORKs, CalFresh, developmental disability services, In-home Supportive Services (IHSS), community care licensing, adult protective services, and SSI/SSP.

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)
2004 Proposition 63 is a one percent tax on residents with incomes above $1 million. This tax currently funds approximately 24% of California’s mental health services budget statewide and a varying percentage of each county’s annual budget.

The MHSA also speaks to various facets of planning, procuring, and administering mental health services through a variety of stakeholders from state and county Health & Human Services departments, Behavioral Health Advisory Boards, including ensuring active citizen-consumer engagement.

Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission (MHSOAC)
MHSOAC’s role is to oversee the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The MHSOAC is also responsible for developing strategies to overcome stigma. At any time, the MHSOAC may advise the Governor or the Legislature on mental health policy.

MHSOAC’s mission is to provide vision and leadership, in collaboration with clients, their family members, and underserved communities, to ensure Californians understand mental health is essential to overall health. Hold public mental health systems accountable. Provide oversight for eliminating disparities; promote wellness, recovery and resiliency; and ensure positive outcomes for individuals living with serious mental illness and their families.

MHSOAC Transparency Dashboard

Discover how counties are spending their MHSA dollars with the Fiscal Transparency Tool. Search and compare both planned and retrospective MHSA programs with the MHSOAC Program Tool. Learn more about MHSA’s largest funded program type with the
Full Service Partnership Dashboard.

California Association of Local Behavioral Health ​Boards & Commissions​ (CALBHBC)
CALBHBC is a statewide organization supporting the work of ​local mental and behavioral health boards and commissions.

California Office of Health Equity (OHE)

California State Association of Counties (CSAC)
The Health and Human Services (HHS) Policy Committee of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) has responsibility for the development of policies and proposals relating to the following: aging and long-term care, alcohol and drug programs, mental health, medical care for the indigent, public health, county hospitals, the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, foster care, child welfare services, adult protective services, the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, and General Assistance (GA) for the indigent. Together, these programs represent approximately one-third of the state General Fund expenditures.

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