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Mental Health Services Act Funded Projects at CDPH

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to protect the public's health and helps shape positive health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. CDPH works continuously to reduce health and mental health disparities among vulnerable and underserved communities to achieve health equity throughout California. CDPH supports the California Reducing Disparities Project, administered by the Office of Health Equity, and the All Children Thrive California Program, administered by the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) (formerly known as the Safe and Active Communities Branch), with Mental Health Services Act funds.


Total Allocation of Mental Health Services Act Funds to the California Department of Public Health

Program Budget2019-20 (Actual)2020-21 (Estimated)2021-22 (Projected)
State Operations Expenditures$12,540,055 $14,869,923 $14,130,856
Local Assistance Expenditures$2,329,000 $3,294,000 $3,627,000


Overview of Mental Health Services Act Programs at the California Department of Public Health


California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) currently supports 12.09 positions in CDPH -Office of Health Equity (OHE). The OHE Community Development and Engagement Unit (CDEU) oversees the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP). This Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) mental health disparities project aims to grow and validate community-defined practices through a participatory evaluation approach that places communities at the center of those efforts. At a systems level, CRDP is designed to improve access, quality of care, and increase positive outcomes for the following five populations: African American; Asian and Pacific Islander; Latinx; Native American; and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.

Beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13, CDPH received $15 million per year for four years (a total of $60 million available to spend without regard to fiscal year) to implement and evaluate CRDP community-defined practices. In total, CDPH/OHE has awarded and executed 43 contracts and grants to implement the CRDP through 2022. These contracts and grants are composed of the following:

  • A Statewide Evaluator
  • Five Technical Assistance Providers
  • Thirty-five Implementation Pilot Projects
  • An Education Outreach and Awareness Consultant
  • A Cultural Broker

OHE is administering contracts to achieve the following:

  • Operationalize strategies listed within the Statewide Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities, which pertain to mental health disparities and recommendations to achieve health and mental health equity for all communities.
  • Support community defined evidence practices (CDEPs) at the local level to offer prevention and early intervention mental health services to underserved and underrepresented diverse populations.
  • Aid in the COVID-19 emergency response effort to outreach and engage community members most impacted by the pandemic by offering tele counseling and virtual support group services, information on testing sites, food distribution, and other resources to remain safe.
  • Serve as key subject matter experts and cultural brokers to CDPH on informing guidelines and processes related to COVID-19 messaging to underserved communities.
  • Strategize on CRDP messaging and communications via social media, print and digital news outlets, web site and other platforms to keep stakeholders informed on the CRDP initiative and achievements to date on elevating CDEPs.
  • Coordinate meetings and planning sessions to convene CRDP contractors and grantees for mandatory CDPH meetings/conferences and knowledge exchanges.
  • Conduct a statewide mental health survey to be administered in 2020-2021 to approximately 4,200 Californians.
  • Provide media training and consulting, storytelling technical assistance to CRDP grantees, and community engagement across all priority populations.
  • Produce annual issues and policies reports, education briefings, an inventory of county cultural competence advisory committees in California, and mental health collateral material to embed a cultural and linguistic responsive framework in programming and mental health service provision.
  • Provide intern and emerging leader stipends to help grow the mental health workforce.
Program Budget2019-20 (Actual)2020-21 (Estimated)2021-22 (Projected)
State Operations Expenditures$12,202,055 $14,526,923 $13,918,856


Additional Office of Health Equity Information can be viewed here:

  • For more information about Office of Health Equity, please visit: OHE Website
  •  For more information about CRDP, please visit: CRDP Website


All Children Thrive California Program (ACT-CA)

All Children Thrive, California (ACT-CA) is a three-year pilot program that engages cities in strategies to reduce the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), building on the national ACT Initiative prioritizing children's health in more than a dozen U.S. cities. The ACT-CA partners with Community Partners, Public Health Advocates, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, to set in motion a broad social movement focused on the wellbeing of children and families, establishing an infrastructure supporting its statewide deployment. By increasing the capacity of communities to address the root determinants of health, ACT-CA provides a replicable, evidence-based model, that can bolster Accountable Health Communities, First 5 early childhood initiatives, and MHSA prevention efforts. The ACT-CA project will achieve these outcomes through the following primary activities:

  • Establishment of an Equity Advisory Group (EAG)
  • Identification of evidence-based interventions and public health practices and developing model programs, policies, and practices for implementation by cities and counties
  • Development and sharing of an online Toolkit for cities and counties
  • Recruitment and provision of coaching and technical assistance to help cities and counties establish strategies
  • Establishment of a peer-learning network, webinars, and educational seminars
  • Evaluation of the impact of activities and a report of findings


Program Budget2019-20 (Actual)2020-21 (Estimated)2021-22 (Projected)
State Operations Expenditures$338,000 $343,000 $212,000
Local Assistance Expenditures$2,329,000 $3,294,000 $3,627,000


In FY 2018-19, CDPH received $10 million in MHSA funding to spend over three years to implement and evaluate the ACT/CA Program through December 31, 2021. CDPH/IVPB awarded one contract to Community Partners that spans through December 31, 2021 in the amount of $9 million. One million is utilized by the CDPH/IVPB to support 1.7 FTE positions for the purposes of oversight, technical assistance, and program monitoring.

For more information about ACT-CA, please visit:

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