No Stigma No Barriers
California Youth Connection and its partners’ VOICES, Youth In Mind, and Young Minds Advocacy jointly launched No Stigma No Barriers in October 2016. Our mission is to facilitate the direct engagement of transition age youth (TAY), ages 16 to 28, with California’s state and local mental health systems. Funded by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), this youth-led collaborative conducts Outreach, Training, and Advocacy activities at the state and local levels to improve outcomes among TAY. In September 2017, the collaborative welcomed PEERS, the premier peer-led organization for Alameda County residents, as a governing member in VOICES stead.
Over the three-year project, youth will lead efforts focused on improving the effectiveness of services and supports, reducing stigma, and increasing equity through:
- Community engagement and education campaigns
- Training for TAY and other community stakeholders
- Local and statewide advocacy
California’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), approved by the voters in 2004, plays a major role in funding innovative mental health services, mental health treatment, prevention and early intervention, education, and training to people of all ages affected by mental illness throughout the state. MHSOAC oversees the investment of MHSA dollars and provides vision and leadership to California’s public mental health systems, in collaboration with clients, their families, and underserved communities. The act requires that MHSOAC utilize transparent and collaborative processes to determine mental health needs, priorities, and services for California mental health consumers–contracting with CYC and its partners ensure that these values are upheld for TAY.