A Right to Heal: Mental Health in Diverse Communities

Number of Pages: 54

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In the early 2000s, mental health consumers, family members, and providers banded together to gather signatures, advocate for, and ultimately propel the passage of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), in 2004. The purpose of the MHSA was to provide an infusion of funds that would expand and transform the public mental health system in order to become 1) wellness, recovery, and resiliency focused, 2) consumer and family driven, 3) integrated, 4) culturally responsive, and 5) collaborative with the community. This advocacy effort and the MHSA itself arose out of a mental health system that was underfunded, illness driven, and clinician directed with minimal consideration for consumers, their families, stakeholders in general, and particularly communities of color.