It’s time to address not just the harms of COVID-19, but also the historic inequities it has exposed and exacerbated. COVID-19 has disproportionately harmed people of color and communities with lower income with regard to employment, worker protections, and social isolation. Given the adverse impacts that COVID-19 has had on residents across the state including loss of income, increased social isolation, and potential displacement, California has an opportunity to recognize the pandemic as a wake-up call.
Now we have an opportunity to create common ground between county behavioral health and community advocates. It is time to move upstream to address and prevent mental health challenges and improve wellbeing with a strong health equity and racial justice lens to create better mental health outcomes for all Californians.
In partnership with California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), Prevention Institute will implement Creating Common Ground: Advancing Equity in Mental Health Outcomes through Upstream Community Prevention in California. Specific activities will include conversations with key stakeholders, regional dialogues, and convenings. to support development of recommendations to the MHSOAC on how to sustain long-term systems change that allows for implementation and funding of community defined evidence practice on a broader scale.
The goal of this project is to build a shared vision for moving prevention and innovation further upstream. With a focus on upstream community prevention and using a health and racial equity lens, Prevention Institute will engage county behavioral health and community partners to build the capacity of local and statewide partners, including advocates and county departments of behavioral health to advance the shared vision, and develop a set of recommendations for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to incorporate the vision into long term systems change.