Join Our Network

Follow Us:

  • RSS

The California Reducing Disparities Project

The California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)

The California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) was founded in 2009 with the goal of achieving mental health equity for five priority populations in California – African American, Latino, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+. The CRDP is funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), which was passed by voters in 2004. The Mental Health Services Act is explicit in the law that a goal of the Act is to expand culturally and linguistically competent approaches for underserved populations.

The first phase of the CRDP focused on developing population specific knowledge about mental health challenges and community-defined solutions. Five population reports were published. In addition, the first phase developed and amplified a roadmap for reducing mental health disparities through policy change, the Strategic Plan. CPEHN served as the facilitator and writer of the Strategic Plan, which was published in 2018 after the participation of over 7,000 Californians. The second phase of the CRDP is intended to develop the capacity of community-based organizations to promote effective mental health strategies and to develop evidence of the success of culturally and linguistically responsive programs and approaches. 35 organizations have been funded to conduct and evaluate population specific approaches to mental health. This work is currently underway.

The CRDP is administered by the Office of Health Equity at the California Department of Public Health.

Population Reports

Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities

CPEHN is excited to release the California Reducing Disparities Project: Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities

The Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities was developed by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) alongside our partners representing diverse populations in California. The Strategic Plan is a community-driven and community-authored document that provides a roadmap for reducing mental health disparities in unserved, underserved, and inappropriately served communities.

Click the links below to download the report and executive summary. The executive summary is translated in Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

CRDP: Advancing Mental Health Equity Statewide Conference (April 2018)

Mental health and wellness is a critical issue for diverse communities, particularly in the current social and political climate. However, access to appropriate and effective services is limited for communities of color, limited English proficient communities, immigrants and refugees, and the LGBTQ community. This conference provided an opportunity for advocates, providers, consumers, and other community partners to collaborate and develop strategies for change.

Focus areas of the conference:

  • Learning about the development and recommendations of the California Reducing Disparities Project Strategic Plan
  • Hearing from local organizers and providers about best practices for community-defined programs and evaluations to serve diverse populations
  • Providing input about opportunities and challenges for policy change
  • Strengthening the network of mental health advocates in California and develop an equity framework

Miss the conference? Click here to view presentations, speaker bios, and more.


AB 512 (Ting): Cultural Competence in Mental Health

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), the Steinberg Institute, #Out4MentalHealth, the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), the California Black Health Network, and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) are pleased to support and sponsor AB 512 (Ting), which  requires  counties to set forward-looking goals in their mental health cultural competence plans and requires the Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) to annually review and monitor their progress.
Despite tremendous gains in mental mealth coverage,  ommunities of color and LGBTQ+  communities continue to  experience disparities in quality and access to mental health treatment.This bill would ensure that counties have the guidance, expertise, and assistance they need to realize the intended purpose of cultural competence plan requirements—to actively respond to and reduce disparities in mental health outcomes.
To learn more, please contact Linda Tenerowicz, Policy Advocate at or (916) 447-1299. For more information and ways to support:   

Equity in Behavioral Health: Webinar Series

Webinar #2: Best Practices to Reduce Disparities in Mental Health (October 2018)

Topics: Effective mental health outreach models for communities of color; community-defined best practices for addressing trauma and mental health needs; strategies for data collection and reporting to address disparities.


  • Jan Hefner, The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity - “Reducing Isolation through Support and Empowerment” 
  • Gulshan Yusufzai, Muslim American Society: Social Services Foundation - “Shifa for Today”

Watch the recording or download the presentation!


Other Resources

  • Immigrant Mental Health Report (February 2019)
    CPEHN is excited to release Accessing Mental Health in the Shadows: How Immigrants in California Struggle to Get Needed Care.The expansion of public mental health services over the last several decades, while significant, has not guaranteed access to mental health care for all California residents, especially undocumented immigrants. Over the past year, CPEHN interviewed fifteen county behavioral health leaders representing twelve California county behavioral health departments in order to evaluate the barriers that immigrant communities face when accessing mental health care. 

    Click here to read the Executive Summary (English) and Executive Summary (Español)
    Find the full report here
  • Innovations in Mental Health (July 2018)

    Communities of color and LGBTQ communities have historically been unserved, underserved, or inappropriately served by California’s behavioral health system. Without innovation in local delivery systems, the prevalence of inappropriate treatment or no treatment among communities of color and LGBTQ communities will remain. This summer, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, along with its partners the California Primary Care Association and #Out4MentalHealth, released a brief on mental health innovation in California. The brief highlights models of local innovation and opportunities for local and statewide change to ensure new practices are introduced into California’s mental health system. 

    Click here to read the MHSA Innovation Recommendations.
  • Measuring Mental Health Disparities (June 2018)

    CPEHN is excited to release Measuring Mental Health Disparities: A Roadmap & Recommendations for Implementation of the Mental Health Equity Act (AB 470, 2017). We know that health care coverage and access alone do not guarantee a reduction of disparities or improve health outcomes. Quality of care and the cultural appropriateness of care are critical components of ensuring health equity.

    Click here to read Measuring Mental Health Disparities.

CRDP Participating Organizations

Implementation Pilot Project

Technical Assistance Provider

If you have questions or to get involved, please contact CPEHN's Executive Director Kiran Savage-Sangwan at