Overview/Background

The Real Story on Proposition 63 (the Mental Health Services Act)

Prop. 63 is vital to community mental health services and helps all Californians by reducing homelessness in our communities, cutting criminal justice costs and improving quality of life for people we care about.

  • Prop. 63 (the Mental Health Services Act) was meant to expand mental health services in California. But reductions in state support of mental health services meant these funds had to keep our mental health system from crumbling.
  • Without Prop. 63 funds, more people with mental illness would have been on our streets, in our jails and in our emergency rooms.

Prop. 63 and community mental health services improve quality of life for people with mental illness and their families.

  • The Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) has expanded services and made recovery possible for more Californians.
  • Thousands of people living with mental illness are now able to make positive contributions and lead full and meaningful lives. They are able to take responsibility for themselves and get an education or a job.
  • Community mental health services have high success rates in addressing illnesses that once destroyed people, their families and the chances for independence. We’ve seen formerly homeless people who now have hope for their lives.

Prop. 63 helps California reduce the costs of untreated mental illness.

  • For decades, people with mental illness did not get services until they had a mental health emergency. They often wound up in costly institutions, jails or on the streets.
  • Untreated mental illness is the largest single cause of not being able to work. With people who are employed, it is the largest cause of absenteeism.
  • Prevention, early intervention and complete mental health services that connect physical health, substance abuse treatment, housing, education, and employment support are effective and cost-effective.

Prop. 63 has brought California closer to our goal of serving every person who needs mental health services.

  • Prop. 63 has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of Californians to get community mental health services.
  • Still, hundreds of millions of dollars have been cut from community mental health systems and other safety net programs. We have considerable work to do to make sure quality; cost-effective mental health services are available to everyone who needs them.


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