How You Can Get Involved in State Level Advocacy

In addition to getting involved in your local planning process, there are several opportunities to also influence policy makers on the state level.

Join the CAYEN Action Network

Through our Action Network mailing list we will let you know about pieces of legislation that impact youth and young adults, send you advocacy alerts, and will provide templates of letters for you to send to your legislators. We will help you figure out when and how to make your voice heard in the Capital and in other advocacy forums!

Also, when issues arise in mental health policy and CAYEN is going to take an official advocacy stance, we often poll the Action Network to get feedback on the issue. Through participating in our occasional survey, you will have the opportunity to ensure that CAYEN is representing your voice!  Join the CAYEN Action Network…

Write a Letter, Make a Phone Call or Visit your Legislators Office

Your legislators are your voice in the state capitol. Therefore, when issues come up that you care about, you should let them know what is important to you. You can do this through calling your Assemblyperson or Senator, writing them a letter, or making an appointment to talk with their staff. By signing up with the CAYEN Action Network we will help you figure out who your representatives are, what current issues are being discussed, and provide template letters for you to personalize and send them about pieces of legislation.

Join Advocacy Groups with Causes you Care About

CAYEN is a leader in mental health policy and advocacy for youth and young adults, but there are many organizations out there that may be doing advocacy about other issues that you care about, too! Many of these groups have local chapters and state offices, and address issues such as foster care, homelessness, LGBTQ, juvenile justice… the list is endless. Your voice matters, so get involved in the issues and causes you care about!

Participate in Public Forums

There are several state-level forums that are open to the public. This is an opportunity for all people interested in mental health to come and let their voices be heard by decision makers. If you are going to attend one of these meetings be sure to look at their agenda first and do some background research so you are able to follow the conversations and feel prepared to be there. If you just want to go and observe and not speak, that is fine too. If you have any questions about attending a state-level forum, contact us and we will help! In mental health the state-level public forums include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) meetings. The MHSOAC, sometimes just called the OAC, meets four times a year for an entire day to discuss what is happening in mental health. Their agendas are usually posted ten days before their meetings on their website. Additionally, if you are interested in a specific committee that the OAC has, their committee meetings are also all open to the public.
  • California Mental Health Planning Council, often called the Planning Council and its committees, meet four times a year for three days to discuss what is happening in mental health. Their agendas are posted about ten days before their meetings on their website. Additionally, if you are interested in specific committee, their committee meetings are also all open to the public.
  • California Mental Health Services Authority, called CalMHSA, oversees the statewide projects under the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). They have a meeting every month that is open to the public.