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CMHACY NEEDS YOUR HELP

Your gift will enable us to continue CMHACY’s amazing legacy!

A MESSAGE TO OUR CMHACY COMMUNITY

It was 40 years ago that a group of foresighted County Mental Health Children’s Coordinators launched CMHACY – California Mental Health Advocates for Children & Youth. Needless to say it was so disappointing for all of us that we were unable to celebrate our founders and CMHACY’s 40-year legacy together, in person at Asilomar because of COVID-19. Instead, we held a virtual 40th conference. It was well attended with a prescient theme – Changing Tides: Voices for Equity, Inclusion & Access – and outstanding keynoters and workshops. As the pandemic rages, the 2021 CMHACY conference in April will also be virtual. But the diminished revenue generated by two years of virtual conferences will put us in a perilous financial position. 

In this unprecedented time we are making an urgent request of you. As you consider your year-end contributions, we ask that you consider a gift to CMHACY. Your gift will enable us to continue CMHACY’s amazing legacy by building on its great work; some of which is highlighted below. Indeed, over the last 40 years virtually every significant, relevant policy issue and practice initiative affecting mental health services for children and youth was incubated, vetted or promulgated at a CMHACY conference.  

Advocates who made a difference were strong CMHACY supporters, and included: 

  • Randy Feltman (Ventura County Mental Health Director) who garnered the first federal Children’s System of Care Grant and developed the “Ventura Model” was a CMHACY Founder.Jerry Doyle (CEO, EMQ/Family’s First) who brought Wraparound to California (SB163) was a CMHACY Founder and Board President.
  • Jim Pries (CEO Mental Health Advocacy) was the lead attorney on the original EPSDT lawsuit T.L. v Belshe that mandated services and funding for California’s children and brought billions of dollars for mental health services and was a CMHACY Board member.
  • Nancy Shea (public interest attorney), Emily Q’s attorney and helped bring Therapeutic Behavioral Services to California, is a long-time CMHACY Board member and immediate Past-President.
  • Rusty Selix, (Executive Director CCCMHA) was a prime mover of the Proposition 63 Ballot Initiative – the Mental Health Services Act, passed in 2004 – and was a frequent panelist on the CMHACY conference’s legislative panel.
  • Key Legislative staffers including Sandra Goodwin who founded CIBHS worked on seminal legislation to build out children’s mental health in California and presented their efforts at CMHACY conferences every year for over two decades.
  • Rick Saletta (Special Master appointed by the federal court in the Emily Q & Katie A lawsuits) was a CMHACY founder and Board President and continues as a Friend of the Board.
  • Carolyn Cooper (a Founder of California’s first parent organization – United Advocates for California’s Children) served as CMHACY Board member and continues as a Friend of the Board.  

Looking forward, our 2021 conference builds on last year’s theme and will focus on one of the most important issues of our time affecting our cross-systems work – Non-negotiable: Demanding social justice and racial equity in our systems of care.    

We need your help to deliver this conference and continue our legacy of “being in the arena” and making a difference. We receive no funds from the State – all of our annual revenue comes through conference registrations and sponsorships. As we plan for the 41st conference to take place April 28 & 29, 2021 we are carefully stewarding our resources.  

For the first time in our history we are asking folks who value the annual CMHACY convening of a wide array of stakeholders and other timely “thought leaders”, to consider a year-end contribution. We are now a 501(c)3 and your donation is tax-deductible. California’s vulnerable children, youth and their families will be grateful for your gift which will support our advocacy efforts on their behalf.

Thank you, 

The CMHACY Board of Directors 

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