Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). CalMHSA is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities, and administers programs on a statewide, regional, and local basis. For more information on CalMHSA visit: www.calmhsa.org
Know the Signs
Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the signs. Find the words. Reach out. The three-year campaign is funded from September 2011 through June 2014, and aims to achieve the following goals: (1) To prepare Californians to prevent suicide by encouraging them to know the warning signs, find the words to offer help to someone they are concerned about and reach out to resources; (2) Provide individuals who are going through tough times with resources, hope and reassurance that help is available; and (3) work with the news media to increase news reporting about suicide in ways that are consistent with national recommendations.
Mobilizing Youth Campaign
CalMHSA’s Stigma and Discrimination Reduction campaign targets 14-24 year old Californians, providing them with and encouraging peer support when things aren’t going so well. The campaign links youth and young adults to tools, resources, and a series of interactive forums. While mobilizing youth to change social norms, the Reach Out Forums provide visitors with a safe space to discuss a range of social and mental health related issues with trained peer leaders and encourage both support seeking and support giving around mental health challenges. The Mobilization campaign is one of three age-specific CalMHSA stigma and discrimination reduction campaign components targeting Californians throughout the lifespan.
The Regional K through 12 Student Mental Health Initiative
The Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) is a program of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) focused on assisting California county offices of education, districts and schools to develop and implement effective programs and services that promote the mental health and wellness of students in grades K-8, with linkages to preschool and grades 9-12. CCSESA’s Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative is funded by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). It is one of several Prevention and Early Intervention initiatives supported by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).
The Regional K-12 SMHI is based on a statewide framework of prevention and early intervention strategies for promoting student mental health that encourages schools and their communities to implement programs and services that meet local needs. CCSESA has identified 11 Regional Lead County Offices of Education to conduct activities addressing prevention and early identification of mental health concerns for elementary (K-8) students, with the goals of (1) increasing cross-system collaboration; (2) implementing school-based demonstration programs; (3) providing education and training for education personnel, parents/caregivers, and community partners; and (4) providing technical assistance for school-based program development. These efforts will be achieved and sustained by building the capacity of existing systems and their representatives.