California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Hosts Statewide PEI Contract Partner Orientation Seminar

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg Attends Reception—Inspires Success

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), a joint powers authority (JPA) of counties focused on the efficient delivery of California mental health projects and programs, announced this month it has reached another milestone in its vision and growth with the development and delivery of its Statewide PEI Contract Partner Orientation Seminar on August 16-17 in Sacramento, California. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg welcomed CalMHSA’s contract partners at a reception on Day One of the two-day historic event. A long-time advocate and dedicated supporter of California’s mental health community and systems and services arising from mental health initiatives that increase emotional health and enhance well-being, Senator Steinberg’s presence at the partner orientation reception embraced the event’s collaborative theme as well as CalMHSA’s overall mission and successes to date. He spoke of CalMHSA’s creation and momentum to date as a positive force—“a beacon of social significance, value, and sustainable impact in California across party lines.”

Designed to increase capacity of PEI Awardees to effectively and successfully achieve the outcomes of the CalMHSA approved Projects Workplan, CalMHSA’s Contract Partner Orientation Seminar signified the beginning of putting nearly $140m to work in the Mental Health Community as well as stimulating the California economy. Participation in CalMHSA’s Contract Partner Orientation Seminar was required of all project directors working with the CalMHSA Statewide PEI Programs.

CalMHSA’s Workplan is focused on improving the well-being of Californians by preventing suicides, reduce the stigma and discrimination towards individuals with serious mental illness, and improve student mental health. An important outcome of the orientation seminar is that all contract partners now fully recognize the interconnecting nature of the CalMHSA’s PEI Statewide Initiatives, and are focused on how these Initiatives have the potential to impact all Californians.

“CalMHSA contract partners respect and promote the values of the California Mental Health Services Act,” says CalMHSA Board President Allan Rawland, ACSW, MSW. “We are encouraged by their exceptional quality and dedication. Having them all together at this orientation was an incredible showing in positive, proactive thinking and collaborativeness. CalMHSA’s partner orientation really lived up to its theme: Shared Vision. Shared Outcomes.

Says John E. Chaquica, ARM, MBA, SPA, Executive Director, CalMHSA, “At a time when we hear and see so much that isn’t happy or going well in the world today, it’s good to see and know an organization like CalMHSA is successfully growing into a hub of positive activities designed to improve mental health in California at the state, regional, and local level. Senator Steinberg’s inspiring words to CalMHSA’s PEI Statewide Contract Partners echoed the values, transparency, and collective approach today’s counties are taking in the efficient delivery of California mental health projects and programs.”

CalMHSA partners by statewide initiative include:

Student Mental Health Initiative:
California Community Colleges Chancellors’ Office
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
California Department of Education
California State University Office of the Chancellor
Regents of the University of California

Suicide Prevention:
Didi Hirsch Psychiatric Services
Family Service Agency of the Central Coast
Family Services Agency of Marin
Institute on Aging Center
Kings View
San Francisco Suicide Prevention
Transitions Mental Health Association

Stigma and Discrimination Reduction:
California Network of Mental Health Clients
Community Clinics Initiative
Disability Rights California
Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.
Mental Health Association of San Francisco
National Alliance on Mental Health
Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn
United Advocates for Children and Families

The statewide projects and initiatives administered by CalMHSA’s were developed under the Mental Health Services Act passed by California voters in November 2004. In 2007, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) approved five prevention and early intervention (PEI) statewide projects and corresponding funding amounts. In 2008, MHSOAC determined that three Statewide PEI projects would be implemented most efficiently and effectively if administered through a single statewide entity and subsequently developed Strategic Plans for each project: the Suicide Prevention Initiative, Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Initiative and the Student Mental Health Initiative. In April 2010, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) contracted with CalMHSA to administer the funding and implementation of mental health services, projects and educational programs at the state, regional and local levels.

CalMHSA’s administration firm is George Hills Company (GHC), a best practices TPA and JPA management firm with 57 years of experience serving California.

About CalMHSA

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is joint powers authority (JPA) of California counties and is focused on the efficient delivery of California Mental Health Projects. Member counties jointly develop, fund, and implement mental health services, projects, and educational programs at the state, regional, and local levels. The following 38 counties are members of CalMHSA: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Lassen, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Trinity, Yuba, Ventura and Yolo. For more information go to

About CDMH

The California Department of Mental Health (DMH), entrusted with leadership of the California mental health system, ensures through partnerships the availability and accessibility of effective, efficient, culturally competent services. This is accomplished by advocacy, education, innovation, outreach, understanding, oversight, monitoring, quality improvement, and the provision of direct services. DMH employs more than 12,000 employees in eight locations throughout the state, including its headquarters in Sacramento, five hospital facilities, two acute care facilities within the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As a state public agency, DMH has worked hard to transform and improve the state's mental health systems of care by working with the mental health constituency to develop a system of partnerships and coordinated interagency efforts. For more information go to


With the passage of Proposition 63 in November 2004, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission was established to oversee specific parts of the Mental Health Services Act including Prevention and Early Intervention Programs, Innovative Programs, Human Resources, Education and Training Programs and sections of the Adult and Older Adult System of Care Act and Children’s Mental Health Services Act. The Commission has primary responsibility for Prevention and Early Intervention and Innovative Programs including issuing Guidelines and approving county plans for those two program areas. For more information on MHSOAC go to

About GHC

Founded in 1954, George Hills Company, Inc. (GHC) provides California's public sector and private insurance carriers best practice claims administration (liability and property) and litigation management services. The firm also provides best practice, turnkey formation and management services to California JPAs. GHC has seven office locations in the State of California, including its corporate headquarters in Rancho Cordova/Sacramento. For more information on GHC go to


Mady Gorrell, 650-464-6496
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Public Policy/Government  Healthcare Reform  Mental Health  State/Local  Professional Services  Other Professional Services  General Health