Overview - California Behavioral Health Planning Council

In June of 2019, the Council approved updated vision and mission statements as well as the addition of the guiding principles listed below.   


A behavioral health system that makes it possible for individuals to lead full and purposeful lives.  


To review, evaluate and advocate for an accessible and effective behavioral health system.

Guiding Principles

Wellness and Recovery: Wellness and recovery may be achieved through multiple pathways that support an individual to live a fulfilled life and reach their full potential. 
Resiliency Across the lifespan: Resilience emerges when individuals of all ages are empowered and supported to cope with life events.
Advocacy and Education: Effective advocacy for policy change statewide starts with educating the public and decision makers on behavioral health issues.
Consumer and Family Voice: Individuals and family members are included in all aspects of policy development and system delivery.
Cultural Humility and Responsiveness: Services must be delivered in a way that is responsive to the needs of California’s diverse populations and respects all aspects of an individual’s culture. 

Parity and System Accountability: A quality public behavioral health system includes stakeholder input, parity and performance measures that improve services and outcomes. 


The California Behavioral Health Planning Council is mandated by federal and state statute to advocate for children with serious emotional disturbances and adults and older adults with serious mental illness; to review and report on the public behavioral health system; participate in statewide planning, and to advise the Legislature on priority issues.

Since the 1960s California has had a statewide advisory board operating independently from the State Department of Mental Health (now the Department of Health Care Services) to provide public input into mental health policy development and planning.  The California Mental Health Planning Council, was established in state statute in 1993 in response to the realignment of mental health program responsibility and funding.  In addition to establishing a dedicated funding base for mental health services, realignment provided county governments with greater autonomy and flexibility in managing their local mental health programs. The Planning Council was designed to be an appropriate structure for public input, planning, and evaluation of performance indicators for mental health programs under realignment  and tasked with specific duties to meet those responsibilities. In 2018, the California Mental Health Planning Council was renamed the California Behavioral Health Planning Council.

Last modified date: 3/24/2021 12:18 AM