Frequently Asked Questions



What is the Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative?


The Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) is a program of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) focused on prevention and early identification of mental health issues for students in grades K-12, with emphasis on grades K-8 and linkages to preschool and grades 9-12. The Regional K-12 SMHI is based on a statewide framework of prevention and early intervention strategies for promoting student mental health that encourages schools and their communities to implement programs and services that meet local needs.

Why is student mental health and wellness important?


Research findings suggest a strong connection between mental wellness and academic achievement. As a central place in the lives of most children and families, schools are critical sites for effective collaboration between education and mental health for the prevention and early identification of children and youth at risk for mental health challenges. An overall priority of the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) component of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) is to ensure that school-based prevention efforts are integrated into the overall mission, priorities and culture of schools. Key activities include training teachers and other school personnel to identify and respond to the earliest signs of children’s mental health concerns and to create a school environment that fosters positive mental health and resilience.

Who is funding the Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative?


The K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative is funded by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) through state funds administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). The state funds are through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop.63).

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.

What is CCSESA?


The 58 County Superintendents of Schools are organized statewide to work closely with state agencies to effectively and efficiently implement new education programs in response to statutory requirements and the needs of districts and schools. The statewide organization of the County Superintendents is called the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). CCSESA’s mission is to strengthen the service and leadership capabilities of California’s 58 County Superintendents in support of students, schools, districts, and communities.

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.

What are the CalMHSA PEI Initiatives?


Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Initiatives are MHSA programs aimed at preventing suicides, reducing stigma and discrimination, and improving student mental health. The twenty five different projects are paid for through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop.63). These initiatives 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. For more information visit the CalMHSA website.

How can I find out what’s happening in my area?


Each of CCSESA’s county regions in California has Regional Leads for the K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative. The document Regional Leads for Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative (15kb PDF document) lists the Lead County Office of Education and contact person(s) for each of the 11 CCSESA regions. For information about the twenty four other CalMHSA Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives visit the CalMHSA website.