Building Collaborations for Women’s Mental Health Advocacy
The California Women’s Mental Health Policy Council’s advocacy strategy was founded in the strong belief that integration of health and social services and multidisciplinary collaboration was critically important in improving the lives and health status of many of the underserved women and families in California. The WMHPC worked with a variety of advocacy groups to develop a mental health, and particularly and women’s mental health priority into their advocacy agenda.
The WMHPC developed position statements on issues critical to improving mental health services for women and girls.
Our advocacy partners included:
California Women’s Health Care Partnership
California Coalition for Mental Health
California Elected Women’s Association for Education and Research
The WMHPC developed a network of Local Champions (i.e. local elected officials, mental health staff, consumers, family members, policy makers, other members of the Mental Health Services Act planning process) to participate in an effort to assure that MHSA planning included the needs for services and access to care for women and girls, and that local programs received the support and information they needed to improve services and access for women and girls.
Local Champions received training on culturally competent gender-sensitive issues. The training included values-driven promising and evidence based clinical practices for women and girls, and were consistent with the five elements identified in the MHSA requirements: community collaboration, cultural competence, client and family driven services, wellness focus that includes recovery and resiliency, and integrated service experiences for women and girls. They received Women’s Mental Health Policy and Practice Briefs outlining specific issues, such as trauma and co-occurring disorders. They participated in regular conference calls to discuss gender issues and to share successful local strategies.