The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), also known as Proposition 63, was enacted by voters in November 2004. The intent of this Act is to transform the public mental health system in California into a system that provides a broad spectrum of prevention and early intervention, treatment, and infrastructure support. There are five concepts in theMHSA: (1) a client/family-driven mental health system, (2) cultural competence, (3)community support and collaboration, (4) service integration, and (5) a focus on recovery, wellness, and resiliency.
Mental health services in schools include a broad range of services, settings, and strategies. These services vary across the state, and may be provided formally or informally by a variety of school personnel. These services may include academic counseling, brief interventions to address behavior problems, family counseling, suicide prevention, and assessment and referral to other systems. Providing school-based mental health services helps to address barriers to learning and provides appropriate student and family support in a safe and supportive environment. The MHSA provides an opportunity for education and mental health to work together to assist California’s children and youth to achieve their educational and personal goals.
Approximately 17 state agencies, including the CDE, are involved in various efforts in support of the MHSA.
The CDE has a contract for the 2010–11 school year with the Placer County Office of Education to provide free, quality professional development for school and district level staff in recognizing children’s mental health issues.
In addition, the CDE provides information on free online training in youth suicide prevention for school staff, students, and their families. This includes information about the Jason Flatt Act and additional resources from various suicide prevention Web sites.