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Press Release

State Approves $5.5 Million in Funding for Mental Health Services in Contra Costa

May 20, 2009

Hundreds of people in Contra Costa will soon get extra help preventing mental illness thanks to $5.5 million in Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds recently approved by the state.

County mental health officials say the money allows community based organizations to focus additional resources on prevention of mental health problems and intervention services—from suicide prevention to stigma reduction. The funding was approved by the California MHSA Oversight and Accountability Commission after Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) submitted a Prevention and Early Intervention plan that reflected input from more than 900 community members gathered during an extensive and collaborative planning process.

"These new state funds for mental health prevention programs come at an extremely critical time for our community," said Donna Wigand, Director of CCHS' Mental Health Division. "The programs use targeted strategies to prevent the initial onset of mental illness, build individual skills, and support individuals and families."

CCHS and contract awardees will develop new programs to focus on the most vulnerable populations as identified in the approved Prevention & Early Intervention plan. The populations include: underserved cultural communities; communities in which there is trauma and violence; those who suffer from stigma; those at risk of suicide; older adults; parents; juvenile justice programs; families experiencing mental illness; and youths.

Sherry Bradley, Contra Costa Health Services' MHSA Program Manager, said the new services should have a positive impact on the entire county.

"This plan involves everyone: community members, family members, consumers and providers," Bradley said. "The strategies build on some services we already provide and will help many in our county—particularly in these difficult times."

The initial $5.5 million award is for two years. Additional funding is available through an annual allocation of MHSA funds. A list of recommended contract recipients is available on the CCHS website:

California voters approved the Mental Health Services Act in 2004. The act levies an additional 1% tax on individuals with taxable annual income of more than $1 million.

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Press Contact
  • Sherry Bradley
  • 925-957-5114
  • Donna Wigand
  • 925-957-5111