Access Coalition
California Coalition for Mental Health
California Youth Empowerment Network
Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coalition
Wellness Works!
NIMH Outreach Partnership Program

Access Coalition

Access Coalition Meeting Schedule for 2016

Access Coalition Members and Sponsors

Access Coalition Priorities for 2016

Click here to view the California Public Mental Health System Guidebook for Local Mental Health Boards and Other Interested Citizens



The Goals of the Campaign are to Eliminate the Barriers that keep Californians from accessing the care they need when they need it. The Access Campaign seeks to eliminate barriers to access through:

  • Increasing mental health literacy and increasing the understanding of mental illness
  • Reducing the barriers to access imposed by both public and private payers
  • Reducing discriminatory practices within the education system, the workplace, and communities
  • Ensuring access to effective medications and services that reduce the burden of living with mental illness
  • Ending the criminalization of individuals with mental illness

Legislative Priorities

The goals of the Access Campaign are:

(1) Coverage of mental health benefits in health plans, at levels equal to other healthcare coverage.
Most mental illnesses are biologically-based (a chemical imbalance is one example). The Access Campaign believes health plans should cover these illnesses and their treatments just as they cover treatments for viruses, heart attacks, etc.

(2) Ending the criminalization of mental illness.
Jails and prisons aren't the best places to treat mental illness. But many mentally ill people wind up in criminal institutions simply because they can't get the care they need. Without treatment, these people can't function in society, and they often end up in the criminal justice system or in emergency rooms. Studies have shown that effective treatment programs are cheaper than housing the mentally ill in prisons or jail.

(3) Increased access to new and breakthrough medications.
In the last five years, highly effective new medications have revolutionized the treatment of mental illness -- with greatly reduced side-effects. The mental health community is united in its push for greater access to these medications, through private health plans and state-funded care. Without access to these amazing new medications, many people still suffer needlessly in the terror of mental illness.

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