Policy Advocacy

For more than 40 years, California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY) has been a leading statewide voice focused on the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children, youth, and their families.  CMHACY’s core focus is rooted in advocacy efforts that are designed to promote, educate, and inform the development of equitable and accessible systems for all children and youth.

CMHACY has played a key role in promoting and achieving landmark legislative changes that have had significant benefits for children, youth, and their families, including Medicaid EPSDT services and Katie A. lawsuit and take great pride in its commitment to advocacy for services and the system changes that are needed.

Our annual conference is one of the state’s most powerful events bringing together a broad and diverse audience of parents, caregivers, youth, educators, providers,  policy makers, mental health champions and community members who are interested in advocating and promoting the policies, programs, and practices that enhance the well-being of vulnerable children, youth and families through timely and relevant educational workshops and renowned motivational keynote speakers.

Recognizing the essential voice of culturally diverse representation in designing and offering effective and appropriate programs and services, CMHACY works to ensure this core constituency is present in its board composition and associated leadership roles.  Our partners in like-minded advocacy efforts include United Parents, California Youth Empowerment Network (CAYEN), California Youth Connection, HCTAYC and California Coalition for Youth (CCY). In the below section, you will find the websites of these and other state advocacy organizations.