​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Operations Branch​​

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Youth Services Section

The Youth Services Section (YSS) consists of three units and administers non-Medi-Cal funded programs for youth ages 12 to 26.  Funding for YSS programs are funded through grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Proposition 64 Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account. 

YSS Questions/Inquiries

YSS related questions/inquiries may be submitted to the following dedicated email account for a timely response:

Email: DHCSYouthServices@dhcs.ca.gov

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Best Practices Guide

To support California's publicly funded adolescent Substance Use Disorder treatment programs, DHCS developed a companion guide based on research and feedback from various stakeholders. Counties and their funded providers should utilize the Adolescent SUD Best Practices Guide to specialize treatment for adolescents with substance use disorders and best serve the complex needs of this population.

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Best Practices Guide OCTOBER 2020

SAMHSA Grant Program Support

Letters of Support

As the Single State Agency for Mental Health and SUD, DHCS is the entity responsible for providing letters of support, and providing guidance regarding an applicant's compliance with SAMHSA's discretionary grant requirements which may be included in some federal funding opportunity announcements (FOA). It is the responsibility of the applicant to carefully read each FOA and understand its unique requirements. For guidance on requesting a letter of support, complying with the Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) and/or E.O. 12372 requirements, please refer to DHCS's guidance for Discretionary Grant Requirements document or submit questions to DHCS Letter of Support.

For more information, please visit the DHCS webpage for Funding Opportunities and Grant Resources.

​​Project Cal-Well

Project Cal-Well is a collaborative project between DHCS and the California Department of Education.  This 5-year SAMHSA grant is intended to increase mental health awareness among students, parents, school and district staff, and communities; provide professional development that supports mental wellness to school and district personnel; and strengthen partnerships  between county behavioral health and local education agencies.  DHCS' role in this grant project is to provide training, education and resources about youth behavioral health to local education agencies and support Student Mental Health Policy Workgroups.  For more information about selected sub-grantees for this project visit the Project Cal-Well webpage. 

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in California, for both youth and adults. In an effort to address suicide prevention statewide to reduce the severity, duration and incidence of suicidal behaviors, the DHCS YSS coordinates with a variety of stakeholders and other state agencies on suicide prevention efforts to:

1.    provide resources and trainings to youth serving agencies, parents and youth;

2.    contract for a 24/7 Crisis Line and Crisis Chat; and,

3.    maintain a suicide prevention mailbox that responds primarily to school administrators and county behavioral health offices. 

DHCS Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet


National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

California HOPE

California HOPE (CalHOPE) provides virtual crisis counseling in order to strengthen existing community support systems, and helps survivors understand their reactions to the current situation.

To learn more visit the CalHOPE webpage.

  • CalHOPE Warm Line: 833-317-HOPE (4673)

Additional Resources

  • Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission: MHOAC


Zero Suicide 

For more information on Suicide Prevention, Contact us at: suicideprevention@dhcs.ca.gov.

Proposition 64

Proposition 64 Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64 was passed by voters, allowing adults age 21 years and older to possess and use marijuana for non-medical purposes. Proposition 64 created two new taxes, the revenues of which are deposited into the California Cannabis Tax Fund. Current law allocates, after other specified disbursements, 60 percent of the remaining fund to the Youth Education Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account to the Department of Health Care Services to implement programs for youth. 

The Proposition 64 Advisory Group was established in 2019 to advise the department on planning, implementation and evaluation activities of the DHCS community projects funded by the YEPEITA.  For meeting information and members visit the Prop64 webpage.

Elevate Youth CA  is a prevention program funded by the Proposition 64 YEPEITA, serving low-income youth ages 12 to 26 in communities of color, tribal and LGBTQ+ communities across the state.  The program provides for necessary peer-to-peer support, mentoring, substance use prevention education and youth social justice activities in communities disproportionally affected by the war on drugs.  For more information, please visit the Elevate Youth CA webpage. 

Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Grant Program (SPF PFS)

The  Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Grant Program (SPF PFS) is a 5-year grant awarded to California by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The purpose of this grant program is to prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse and its related problems while strengthening prevention capacity and infrastructure at the community and state level.  California utilized SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework to identify the priority for this grant which is prescription drug misuse among youth ages 12 to 25 in rural California.  The following counties were selected for the SPF PFS project and implement public awareness and education strategies in their communities:

The SPF PFS grant also requires states to strengthen state-level strategic planning capacity, DHCS established the grant-required workgroups to support this effort:

Evidence-Based Practices Workgrou​p

The purpose of the Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup (EBPW) is to expand the statewide use of evidence-based practices, programs, policies and strategies to positively impact statewide outcomes for prevention.  In coordination with the University of California, Los Angeles, the EPBW will define criteria for evidence-informed prevention programs and practices that best meet California's diverse needs. Visit the guidance document on Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions.

State Epidemiological Workgroup

The purpose of the State Epidemiological Workgroup (SEW) is to enhance statewide analytical capacity by functioning as an expert data advisory group that recognizes the importance of regular statewide evaluations to monitor and track outcomes.  The SEW coordinates efforts related to the following:

  • Peer review data, data analysis, and evaluation methodologies and reports
  • Provide guidance to data collection for the County Indicator Toolkits that aid in the development of county-required Strategic Prevention Plans. 
  • Review, analyze and report trends related to substance use and mental health issues and disorders that cause harm.
  • Provide editorial feedback to DHCS on the California Biennial Student Survey (CHKS).
  • Support the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard through the SPF PFS epidemiological contract with the California Department of Public Health.

California Friday Night Live Program

The California Friday Night Live Program aims to engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community and to build partnerships for positive and healthy youth development.  DHCS provides stipends to counties to support widespread implementation of the FNL program.  DHCS also contracts with the Tulare County Office of Education, California Friday Night Live Partnership to provide no-cost technical assistance and training to providers ensuring program components are followed with fidelity.  For questions regarding Friday Night Live email DHCSFNL@dhcs.ca.gov or to request technical assistance on the Friday Night Live program, please visit the Friday Night Live webpage.

Prevention and Family Services Section

The Prevention and Family Services Section (PFSS), within the Operations Branch of the Community Services Division (CSD), provides leadership, technical assistance and support to counties funded by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Primary Prevention Set-Aside and Perinatal Set-Aside. Additionally, PFSS collaboratively supports the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program, Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, and Women and Children's Treatment Services Program.  To contact someone in the PFSS:

Primary Prevention Services

Perinatal Treatment Services

The Women and Children's Residential Treatment (WCRTS) program consists of a network of residential perinatal substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs in the following six counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin. These counties must pursue specific goals and outcomes in accordance with Health and Safety Code §11757.6 for pregnant and parenting women in residential SUD treatment settings.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment Services

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), also referred to as Laura's Law, is a county implemented program that provides intensive court-ordered treatment in the community for individuals with severe untreated mental illness and a history of violence or repeated hospitalization.

For more information and to find the annual Legislative Report, please visit the Assisted Outpatient Treatment webpage​.

Email: DHCSAOT@dhcs.ca.gov

Health Stores for a Healthy Community

The Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community (HSHC) campaign is a statewide collaboration between tobacco and alcohol use prevention, sexually transmitted disease prevention, and nutrition partners. The goal is to improve the health of Californians through changes in community stores and to educate people on how in-store product marketing influences the consumption of unhealthy products. For more information, please visit the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community webpage.​ 

Last modified date: 10/13/2021 3:56 PM