Your Voice Counts FAQ



What is Your Voice Counts?

Your Voice Counts is a public forum with the purpose to engage Californians to have a voice in the development of statewide suicide prevention efforts. 


Why Join Your Voice Counts?

As a member, you will have an opportunity to check out announcements and provide input on campaign materials for statewide suicide prevention efforts.  Your perspectives are unique and powerful, and your input will help ensure that we are developing a social marketing campaign that meets your needs, and the needs specific to California.


How can I provide input?

There are several ways to make your voice count. To begin, review current Input Topics or join a Workgroup that matches your interests or expertise. We will alert you via email when new announcements and input topics are posted, or when a workgroup that matches your background or area of expertise is scheduled.


Can I post an announcement?

Announcements are posted for the suicide prevention social marketing campaign, as well as for many other suicide prevention and mental illness stigma reduction efforts around the state. At this point, only designated representatives from each county and CalMHSA-funded programs are able to upload announcements directly to the forum.  If there is something important you would like to share, please contact your local MHSA or PEI Coordinator at your county’s Mental Health Department. 


Who should join the forum?

Everyone!  If you live in California, your voice is important to the campaign. To succeed, the campaign needs to connect with individuals from diverse cultures and different walks of life — young and old, rural and urban — across the state. Chances are that your perspective and ideas will bring us one step closer to making the campaign informative, relevant and truly impactful. Whether you have been personally or professionally touched by suicide, or want to help prevent suicides in your community, your voice will help us create and implement an informative, relevant and truly impactful campaign.  And save lives. 


How old do I have to be to join the forum?

In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, all members of this site must be 13 years of age, or older.


What do I need to do to join?

Just one click will take you to the sign-up page.  It’s quick and easy. As part of the sign-up process, we are going to ask you a few questions about yourself so we can alert you about topic-specific workgroups that match your interest or areas of expertise.


Is there a membership fee?

No, there is no membership fee.  Participation in the forum is free.


Will I be compensated for my time?

Participation in the forum is strictly on a voluntary basis, and unfortunately we cannot compensate you for your time with anything but our sincere appreciation! Please review our user agreement. 


What are the goals of the suicide prevention social marketing campaign?

The social marketing campaign is one of many suicide prevention efforts funded statewide. The purpose is to:

  •  Prevent suicide by raising awareness of suicide, its causes, warning signs and how to help others.
  • Provide individuals who are going through tough times with resources, hope and reassurance that help is available.
  • Work with the media to increase news reporting about suicide that includes information about how to prevent suicide.


Who funds this campaign?

The statewide suicide prevention campaign is funded by the Mental Health Services Act and is one of several contracts awarded in the fall of 2011 to realize the goals and objectives of three statewide initiatives: the Suicide Reduction Initiative, the Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Initiative and the Student Mental Health Initiative. In April 2010, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) contracted with California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to administer the funding and implementation of mental health services, projects and educational programs at the state, regional and local levels.


What is CalMHSA?

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA administers programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) on a statewide, regional and local basis.

While direct services are best provided by counties at the local level, the strategic planning process made clear that some MHSA initiatives would be best implemented in a coordinated fashion statewide. To most effectively and efficiently implement these programs — particularly the three Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives — six California counties formed the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), a joint-powers authority that now includes more than 40 counties representing nearly 90% of the California population. The mission of CalMHSA is to provide member counties a flexible, efficient and effective administrative/fiscal structure focused on collaborative partnerships and pooling efforts in:

  • Development and implementation of common strategies and programs
  • Fiscal integrity, protections and management of collective risk
  • Accountability at state, regional and local levels

CalMHSA’s logo and tagline “Compassion. Action. Change.” express the organization’s belief that our programs and services embrace and nurture mental wellness in all Californians, that our processes are collaborative and community-oriented, and that we are accountable for results. All communications should align with these organizational values:

  • Community collaboration
  • Cultural competence
  • Client-/family-driven mental health system for children, transition-age youth, adults, older adults
  • Family-driven system of care for children and youth
  • Wellness focus, including recovery and resilience
  • Integrated mental health system service experiences and interactions


What are Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives?

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Initiatives are MHSA programs aimed at preventing suicides, reducing stigma and discrimination, and improving student mental health.


PEI Initiatives:

  • Are voter-approved and paid for through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63)
  • Transform California’s mental health services approach by uniting California’s diverse communities to embrace mental wellness and delivering the tools individuals need before they reach the crisis point
  • Provide an up-front investment that will pay off with sustained cost reductions in health, social services, education and criminal justice programs


They fall into three categories:

1.     Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Program
The MHSA Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Program uses a full range of Prevention and Early Intervention Strategies to confront the fundamental causes of stigmatizing attitudes and discriminatory and prejudicial actions toward people with mental illness, across ages and backgrounds.

2.     Suicide Reduction Program
The MHSA Suicide Prevention Program uses a full range of strategies from Prevention to Early Intervention to prevent suicide across ages and backgrounds.

3.     Student Mental Health Program
The MHSA Student Mental Health Program uses a full range of strategies, including campus-based mental health programs, prevention, early intervention and peer-to-peer activities, to promote mental wellness in the student population.

For more information, visit


What is the Mental Health Services Act?

In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Prop. 63 provided the funding and the framework needed to transform the community mental health system from a crisis-driven system to one focused on prevention and wellness and to expand services to reach previously underserved populations and all of California’s diverse communities. Specifically, the MHSA provides funding for community services and supports, prevention and early intervention, housing, innovation, capital facilities, technology and workforce investment and training. For more information, visit:


How will I be updated about new announcements and input opportunities?

You will receive an email alert whenever a new announcement, input opportunity or workgroup is posted.


What do I do if I have technical problems?

For technical problems and assistance with your account, please email:


Do you have a question about Your Voice Counts?  Please email us at



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