CalMHSA Express - February 2016
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A Note from Wayne Clark

     Just as cultural factors shape the understanding of mental health and the experience of mental health challenges, cultural understanding is needed to ensure all of California’s diverse communities can attain mental wellness. This Black History Month, through local, culturally-relevant services and statewide Prevention and Early Intervention programs administered by CalMHSA, California counties are helping transform our state’s mental health system to reduce disparities faced by our diverse populations, including our African American community.
     African American community members can face unique forms of stigma, sometimes rooted in historical factors that have led to mistrust of health or mental health professionals. Through Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement, more African Americans are coming forward to confront shame and fear associated with mental health challenges by sharing their stories of resilience and recovery. Visit Each Mind Matters’ Great Minds Gallery to hear stories that represent California’s diversity.

Save the Date for Mental Health Matters Day!

May is just around the corner and we are gearing up to celebrate Mental Health Month! Throughout the month, people from across California will come together to spread awareness about the importance of mental health and will take the opportunity to eradicate stigma. Mental Health America will host Mental Health Matters Day, an inspirational event at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 24th, 2016. Contact:   

Quick Look: Value of Student Mental Health 

A new infographic illustrates the widespread benefits of CalMHSA’s investment in student mental health. According to a recent RAND evaluation, CalMHSA’s investment in student mental health programs for California college students is making a difference. Students, schools, and all of California benefit from each dollar invested in prevention and early intervention programs developed by CalMHSA. A key finding of the report stated that based on a benefit cost analysis, the societal benefit of the increase in treatment and the corresponding decrease in dropouts is estimated to be as high as $56 million for each year of CalMHSA’s investment. Contact: Aubrey Lara at

“Directing Change” Program Deadline Approaching 

The deadline to submit films for the Directing Change Program and Film Contest is March 1st, 2016. Directing Change offers an exciting opportunity for eligible high school students and young adults to participate in the mental health movement by creating 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health that are used to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts. Submission categories include: Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Matters, and new this year, Through the Lens of Culture, which requires participants to create a film in a language other than English and/or with focus on how these topics impact people from different cultures.

  • By encouraging a young person to participate in this film contest, your organization could receive a $1000 mini grant to support mental health awareness efforts! 
  • If you have expertise/interest in directing, writing, editing, acting, journalism, public service announcements, video production, suicide prevention and/or mental health, the contest is looking for judges to help select the winning films. The entire process will take less than two hours, all of which can be done online, from home. More information is available here.

Contact: Shanti Bond at

First NAMI on Campus High School Training 

The California Department of Education, Placer County Office of Education, CalMHSA, and Each Mind Matters teamed up with NAMI California for the first NAMI on Campus High School training in the Sacramento area. 41 students and nine advisors, representing five area high schools, learned to talk about mental health, coping skills, advocacy and stigma. The training equipped students and clubs to bring Each Mind Matters campaigns to their schools right away. Additional 2016 trainings will be announced. Contact Beth Wolf at

Active Minds Recognizes Emerging Scholars 

Active Minds has selected two California scholars for their Emerging Scholars Fellowship. The fellowship in an opportunity for students to complete funded, independent mental health projects, and to be connected with a network of young scholars and national experts in the field of behavioral health.

  • Alfred Delena is a 5th year undergraduate senior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Human Biology, along with a Minor and Honors in Education at Stanford University. Alfred’s study will examine the lived experiences of well-being among undergraduate students of color.
  • Heidi Tuason is a 3rd year Doctor of Public Health student at UCLA in Community Health with minors in Asian American Studies and Health Policy and Management. She aims to uncover stories of mental health challenges and stigma in the Filipino community among students at UCLA (particularly young Filipina women (Pinays), undocumented Filipinos, and LGBT Filipinos), utilizing the innovative methodology of digital storytelling through short participatory community-made films.

More information is available here. Contact: Becky Fein at  

NAMI California Opportunity

NAMI California, a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness, is looking for a Community Engagement Coordinator. Under the supervision of the Director of Community Engagement, the Community Engagement Coordinator will conduct and coordinate training events, provide support and technical assistance to local NAMI Affiliates, and program evaluation. Apply at Contact: Melen Vue at

Award to Recognize Colleges That Aim High on Mental Health 

Active Minds will soon select up to five U.S. colleges and universities taking great strides toward the health and well-being of students to receive the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award in 2016. The award celebrates leadership, innovation, collaboration, and excellence in campus health. Winning campuses will have their successes shared broadly, through a concerted national media relations campaign, to inspire change across the nation. Applications are due on February 16th, 2016. More information is available here. Contact: Sara Abelson at

For more information on Each Mind Matters, sign up for the Each Mind Matters Newsletter.

Have news to share? Send submissions to Jenna Thompson at
CalMHSA is a partnership of California counties working together to prevent mental illness and promote mental health by implementing Prevention and Early Intervention programs that are a critical part of the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). 

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