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Behavioral Health Prevention Plan

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched an initiative to create the state’s first Behavioral Health Prevention Plan (BHPP) with the goal of preventing mental illness and substance use disorders (SUD). California’s BHPP will utilize concepts from the State Epidemiological Workgroup (SEW) and the California Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup (EBPW) to advance prevention in California. The BHPP will: 

  • Identify emerging trends in behavioral health prevention throughout California
  • Develop a core set of statewide prevention priorities, goals, and objectives that will provide guidance to statewide efforts on a continuous improvement path
  • Provide data that indicates effectiveness and uncovers opportunities to improve initiatives throughout the state
  • Recognize opportunities for collaboration and partnerships across systems
  • Support California's behavioral health prevention system by identifying and addressing specific needs with a comprehensive prevention plan
  • Promote the use of evidence-based, evidence-informed, and best practices statewide, including recommending culturally responsive best practices and practices that address local health disparities
  • Support implementation that advances prevention science, including addressing equity issues by incorporating prevention strategies directed at the social determinants of health, risk and protective factors (both individual and community level), and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Relieve counties of their contractual requirement of producing a county Strategic Prevention Plan (SPP) and instead focus on building capacity for continuous quality improvement
  • Streamline process and evaluation data collection

For more information on the BHPP and associated resources, please visit the BHPP webpage.

Youth Services Section

The Youth Services Section (YSS) consists of three units and administers non-MediCal funded programs for youth ages 12 to 26. Funding for YSS programs are funded through grants from SAMHSA and the Proposition 64 Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treatment Account (YEPEITA)​. 

YSS Questions/Inquiries

YSS related questions/inquiries may be submitted to DHCSYouthServices@dhcs.ca.gov for a timely response.

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Best Practices Guide

DHCS developed a companion guide based on research and feedback from various stakeholders to support California's publicly funded adolescent SUD treatment programs. Counties and their funded providers should utilize the Adolescent SUD Best Practices Guide of October 2020 to specialize treatment for adolescents with SUDs, and best serve the complex needs of this population.

SAMHSA Grant Program Support

Letters of Support

As the Single State Agency for Mental Health and SUD, DHCS is 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 read each FOA carefully 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 email questions to DHCS Letter of Support.

For more information, please visit the Funding Opportunities and Grant Resources website​.

California Healthy Kids Survey

California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is a collaborative project between DHCS, WestEd, and the California Department of Education (CDE) to administer a survey of Alcohol and Other Drug use among a representative statewide sample of 7th, 9th, and 11th graders. WestEd has published the results of the survey in the School Climate and Student Engagement and Well-being Biennial Report. The Report includes data on the mental wellbeing and substance use trends among 7th, 9th, and 11th graders.

WestEd has also published the Infographic Report – Key Findings from the Seventh Biennial California Healthy Kids Survey 2017/2019​, a companion document to the most recent Biennial Report that present key findings of the CHKS state representative samples.

​​Project Cal-Well

Project Cal-Well is a collaborative project between DHCS and CDE. 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's 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. Please visit the Project Cal-Well webpage for more information about selected sub-grantees for this project.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in California for youth and adults. To address suicide prevention statewide, and 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 Lifeline 

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

  • ​National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 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


Zero Suicide 

For more information on Suicide Prevention, email 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 aged 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. After other specified disbursements, the current law allocates 60 percent of the remaining fund to the YEPEITA to DHCS 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 DHCS community projects funded by the YEPEITA. For meeting information and members visit the Proposition 64 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 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​.

The current Elevate Youth 2021 Annual Report​, developed by the Sierra Health Foundation (SHF), can be viewed on SHF’s website​.​

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

The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) Grant Program is a 5-year grant awarded to California by SAMHSA. This grant program aims 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 levels. 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 following grant-required workgroups to support this effort:

Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup

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. For more information, please visit the guidance document​ on Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions.

State Epidemiological Workgroup

The SEW aims 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:

California Friday Night Live Program

The California Friday Night Live (FNL) Program aims to engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community and build partnerships for positive and healthy youth development. DHCS provides stipends to counties to support the widespread implementation of the FNL program. DHCS also contracts with the Tulare County Office of Education, California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP) to provide no-cost technical assistance and training to providers ensuring program components are followed with fidelity.

The CFNLP has developed the following infographics for the Youth Development Survey, the Friday Night Live Mentoring (FNLM) program, and the CFNLP:

​For questions regarding FNL, please email DHCSFNL@dhcs.ca.gov​. To request technical assistance on the FNL program, please visit the FNL webpage.

Prevention and Family Services Section

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

Primary Prevention Services

Contact Primary Prevention Services

Substance Use Disorder Perinatal Services

Contact Perinatal Treatment Services

Women and Children's Residential Treatment Program

The WCRTS Program consists of a network of residential perinatal SUD treatment programs in Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin Counties. 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

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 view the annual Legislative Report, please visit the Assisted Outpatient Treatment webpage​.

Email: DHCSAOT@dhcs.ca.gov 

Last modified date: 8/8/2022 9:22 AM