The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is a Joint Powers of Authority (JPA) formed in 2009 to create a separate public entity to provide administrative and fiscal services in support of the members’ Mental/Behavioral Health Departments acting alone or in collaboration with other departments, which may include operation of programs to:

  • Administer prevention and early intervention services under the Mental Health Services Act
  • Contract and/or negotiate with the State or other providers of mental hospital beds similar or related services
  • Contract and/or negotiate with the state or federal government for administration of mental health services, programs, or activities including but not limited to the Drug Medi-Cal Treatment Program, managed mental health care, delivery of specialty mental health services
  • Operate program risk pools
  • Provide any other similar or related fiscal or administrative services that would be of value to members, such as group purchasing, contract management, research and development, data management, maintenance of a research depository, training, technical assistance, capacity building, education and training
  • Research, develop, and execute any appropriate policy requests from the California State Association of Counties or its affiliates

CalMHSA is governed by a board of directors comprised of the local county or city mental/behavioral health director to form each member (appointed by member governing body), with a designated alternate to participate when the director is absent. There are currently 57 members (55 counties, 1 JPA, 1 city).

The JPA has three committees — the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Advisory Committee (currently inactive) — and is subject to the regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) (Title2, Division 6, California Code of Regulations) and the Ralph M. Brown Act.