News & Information

This part of the website is an area to post an introduction to a list of topics that the Board & Friends thought would be interesting and relevant to the CMHACY community.  It is open to ongoing revision and contribution.  Please share your ideas about additional resources and new topics to include for the Board to review by submitting them to the

Mental Health  

What is mental health treatment? 

  • The use of psychological, counseling, and coaching methods to alleviate mental symptoms, behavior problems, and/or functional impairments.
  • Methods include counseling, coaching, psychotherapy, psychiatry, medication, social work methods, recreation and occupational therapies, and other approved methods.


What are Evidence Based Practices? 

  • The American Psychological Association states – “Evidence-based practice is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture and preferences.”
  • Leading EBP’s for our our youth:
  1. TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment) For young people who have experienced a traumatic experience, relationship, or similar
  2. CBT – (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment) For anxiety and depression
  3. FFT – (Functional Family Therapy) For youth with conduct problems in a family setting
  4. TIP (Transiton to Independece Prqactice) For transiton aged youth (16-29)
  1. American Psychological Association. (2002). Criteria for evaluating treatment guidelines. American Psychologist, 57, 1052-1059.
  2. Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  3. Sackett, D. L., Straus, S. E., Richardson, W. S., Rosenberg, W., & Haynes, R. B. (2000). Evidence based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM(2nd ed.). London: Churchill Livingstone.


Alcohol and Other Drug/Substance Use Disorders   

  • Simple explanation here
  • 2-3 treatment pathways


Trauma – a simple definition is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience: Child traumatic stress occurs when children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events or traumatic situations that overwhelm their ability to cope. Some traumas are caused by natural disasters or events, such as Hurricane Katrina or an airplane accident.  Others are caused by interpersonal violence such as abuse, kidnapping, etc.  Another type is called complex trauma, caused by repeated and multiple exposure to many child maltreatment events such as maltreatment, neglect, abuse, domestic violence, etc.    


Psychotropic medication  

At any one time approximately twenty percent of all children suffer from a mental health problem; 5 percent of all children have a severe problem.   These problems can be associated to several things including the environment (such as family, school, and  friends), one’s general health and, sometimes, genetic influences.   There are various ways of decreasing the suffering including working with a therapist, changing one’s behavior and, if necessary, taking medication for a brief period in order to live a more satisfying life.    The array of mental health services available includes various types of psychotherapy and medication.  In most instances, for example, for minimal moderate distress, a psychotherapist will provide services.  If these do not make a difference, sometimes medication will be helpful along with the psychotherapy.  One way it does this is to help a person not be overly impacted by the symptoms of their illness and thus make better use of the counseling and other social and educational interventions.

Medication has recently been the focus of a lot of scrutiny especially in the public media.  Every child and family must clearly understand what the benefits and disadvantages (risks) are of starting a course of medication.  No child should be forced to take medication.  Some medications do have side effects that must be monitored along with the benefits; children and families should become familiar with the common side effects.  It is every client and family’s right to ask their child’s psychiatrist about the benefits and risks of any medicine they are offered and receive an answer in language they can understand.  This also creates better partnership and respect between family, client, and doctor.

There has been a lot of recent information regarding the use of medications in children.  Here are some of those links:



  • The critical role of education and the rights involved.
  • School-Based services
  • AB 114 Transition – AB 114, the 2011-12 education budget trailer bill, eliminated all statue and regulations relate to AB 3632 which had been the authority for providing mental health services to students in special education whose handicapping condition is emotional disturbance and who required mental health services in order to benefit form the free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to which they are entitled. The bill transferred responsibility and funding for educationally related mental health services, including residential services, from county mental health and child welfare departments to education. A complete audit of the program and transition is available here,
  • Special education/504/ADA
  • Confidentiality and sharing information


Child Welfare   

  • Continuum of Care Reform
  • Katie A.


Health Care   

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Mental health parity
  • Integrated services
  • Sharing information/confidentiality


Juvenile Justice   

  • Overview –The world of  juvenile justice and child welfare overlap.  Very often these are the same young people who have been “drafted” into government care and supervision through different pathways.  Yet their needs, backgrounds, concerns, and positive potential for future success are often very similar.
  • Young people who are detained for a criminal charge become wards of the court as a result of a hearing in front of a juvenile court judge.  The law is clear that the young person’s physical, mental, and emotional problems must be addressed while ensuring community and personal safety.
  • There are a wide variety of treatment methods for youngsters on juvenile probation, from mental health counseling, trauma informed services, wraparound, FFT, alcohol and drug treatment, social skills training, heightened supervision, etc.
  • Treatment  options
  • FFT, MST, others


Legal Issues   

  • Involuntary treatment — Involuntary treatment is the legal process by which individuals with mental disabilities may be admitted involuntarily to a designated psychiatric hospital for treatment. In California this law is the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act and it is located at California Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 5150 et seq. The initial hold is for 72 hours and may be followed by a 14-day hold. Additional holds (including an LPS conservatorship) are available if necessary. The criteria for involuntary treatment is the individual has a mental disability and because of that is gravely disabled, dangerous to self, or dangerous to others. For more information see:  
  • Minor consent — Minors 12 years of age or older may consent to outpatient mental health treatment and residential shelter services. They may not, however, consent to convulsive therapy, psychosurgery or psychotropic drugs without the consent of a parent or guardian. For more information on minor consent see
  • Sharing information/confidentiality
  • Access to Care
  • Sharing information/confidentiality
  • Education rights


Public Benefits   

  • MediCal/EPSDT


Transitional Age Youth   

  • FSP and other partnerships
  • TIM
  • Transition to Independence Process (TIP)
  • Work and Job Prep
  • Consumer Issues
  • Your voice and choice
  • Requesting a service
  • Making a complaint
  • Assertive partnership
  • What do different professionals and departments really do?
  • What are my Benefits?


Consumer Issues

  • Your voice and choice
  • Requesting a service
  • Making a complaint
  • Assertive partnership
  • What do different professionals and departments really do?
  • What are my Benefits?