The Mental Health Services Act of 2005 was passed by California voters as Prop 63 in 2004 to expand the innovative service programs already begun in the state for the severely and persistently mentally ill. The State Department of Mental Health and the mental health advocates who wrote the legistlation saw the implementation of MHSA as requiring a "transformation" of the entire system to provide accessible, integrated, recovery-model services for this difficult population. New initiatives in prevention and early intervention, workforce training, and stigma reduction were also part of the legislation. Plans were to be developed with active stakeholder participation, including families and consumers, and outcomes monitored by a new Oversight and Accountability Commssion. To fund the new programs and services, the MHSA created a new revenue source for mental health services through a surcharge tax on incomes over $1 million. Although the legislation has had significant impact on programs and services throughout the state, budget shortfalls since the recession of 2008 have prevented realization of the planners' vision for MHSA.
The archives tell the nuts and bolts stories of mental health organizations and programs. Here are the letters, proposals, reports, flyers and brochures that explain how the PARTNERS program, the Village, Project Return, NAMI, and MHSA were conceived, developed and grew.