California’s protection & advocacy system
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Disability Rights California was awarded a three year prevention and early intervention (PEI) stigma and discrimination reduction funding through the county / California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) and Prop. 63. The funding period is August 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014. This is one of the many PEI projects funded by CalMHSA.
CalMHSA administers programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) on a statewide, regional and local basis. PEI initiatives aim at preventing suicides, reducing stigma and discrimination, and improving student mental health. CalMHSA is a group of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
Specifically the MHSA Stigma and Discrimination Reduction initiative uses a full range of PEI strategies to confront the fundamental causes of stigmatizing attitudes and discriminatory and prejudicial actions toward people with mental health disabilities, across ages and backgrounds.
People with mental health disabilities are discriminated against mainly due to myths, false ideas and fears. In a recent California survey about the use of mental health services, many people said they felt like they needed help but did not request it because of their fear of stigma.
Our Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Project will address stigma and discrimination by:
Disability Rights California created a Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Project Advisory Group composed of a diverse group of people, including: clients of the mental health system, family members, mental health providers and community members. The Advisory Group will provide guidance on areas of focus for the project and assist in identifying communities for training, among other advisory activities.
Disability Rights California has subcontracted with Mental Health Advocacy Services to address stigma and discrimination issues for youth.
UPDATE: Read about our training and fact sheets: Disability Rights California Training & Fact Sheets Memo (pdf)