CCMH provides a unified voice for our members , who include family and consumer organizations, nonprofit service providers, professional associations, hospitals, and others -- having a statewide advocacy presence -- who seek to improve the delivery of mental health care in California. Our members have many critical issues of concern, including creating better access to care and assuring parity in the delivery of mental health services that are on par with other health care services.
CCMH coalesced around Proposition 63 in 2004, the landmark initiative that significantly bolstered funding of mental health programs through a one-percent tax on individual income over $1 million. Not only did we advocate for Prop 63, but CCMH also stepped up to monitor the expenditure of these funds - a task we continue to assume.
One of our core commitments is to ensure adequate funding for mental health programs and care. Historically, mental health programs are among the first to be cut when California faces economic challenges. This trend leads to a chroncially underfunded system; CCMH seeks to safeguard mental health care funding and to support budget decisions that stregthen the delivery of mental health services throughout California.
Currently, our work is focused on three areas that are vitally important to mental health care: Parity, Criminal Justice, and Housing. We develop strategies within these categories, monitor state policy and legislation, and work toward consensus on key issues. Our organization has adopted an Agenda for Fairness; this statement of guiding principles is a reflection of broad-based agreement about CCMH priorities and shared goals. With multiple and diverse organizations representing the mental health community throughout California, unanimous agreement on the Agenda for Fairness is testimony to our commitment to accessible, effective mental health care for all.
CCMH members cover California's diverse communities with a shared interest in sound mental health
Members of CCMH represent a broad spectrum of interests and diversity of stakeholders throughout the state. The statewide presence of our membership is fundamental to the mission and effectiveness of CCMH. As we speak with a unified voice, policy makers can better understand the need for equitable and accessible mental health care througout California, as well as the differences within the constituencies we represent.
Advocating sound mental health public policy
Headquartered in Sacramento, where statewide health policies are created, implemented, and managed, CCMH is the broad-based representative of the statewide mental health community. We monitor legislation, programs, budgets, and proposals that impact the quality of mental health care and treatment for all Californians.
Our presence in the state capitol is recognized and respected because of the strength and diversity of our membership. We are regarded as a united voice that speaks for community mental health providers, licensed professionals, and other mental health care organizations and advocacy groups. Membership in CCMH is exclusively for advocacy organizations with representation throughout the state to ensure we speak for the broadest possible coalition.
As a coalition, we advocate only on issues for which there is a consensus among our many and varied members. Consequently, we often express support or opposition for broad principles; however, in some instances, we reach our critical consensus and actively lobby members of the State Legislature regarding select bills that will impact the delivery of mental health care throughout the state.
Currently, CCMH is focusing our advocacy and education work on three critical areas: parity, in the delivery of mental health care and treatment; housing initiatives; and on preventing the criminalization of mental illness. Our standing committees on these topics compile research, analyze how state plicies and proposals might impact each issue, and provide information to policy makers based on our findings. We provide testimony at legislative hearings as well as communicate our members' concerns to policy makers.
Once a year, CCMH sponsors a Mental Health Advocacy Day at the state capitol. Members seek to meet with legislators and their staff to further the improvement and sustainability of mental health care and treatment throughout California.
Committees reflect the focus of CCMH priorities
CCMH has three working committees, each focusing on a priority that our membership has identified as crucial to the delivery of quality mental health care in California. Through a consensus process with CCMH members, we arrived at three main work group committees to develop principles, monitor progress, highlight best practices, and make policy recommendations.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Our members are keenly aware that very significant numbers of inmates in our state's jails and prisons have serious mental health challenges, including severe and chronic mental illness conditions. Inmates receive marginal, if any, mental health care. Our goal is to monitor and assess policies that impact offenders living with mental health challenges while incarcerated and upon release.
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In California - and common in most other states - people who need mental health services often face roadblocks from insurance providers and healthcare plans in accessing mental health care. The Parity Work Group seeks to end this health insurance discrimination and ensure people seeking mental health care have access on par with that afforded to people with other medical conditions.
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It is essential that communities throughout California engage in efforts to reduce homelessness among people living with mental health challenges that are often complicated by substance abuse. Homelessness causes further significant issues for this vulnerable population. The CCMH Housing Work Group collaborates with a variety of partners to develop effective housing options that include behavioral health services.
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