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Mental Health/Developmental Disability Collaborative
In 1996, the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Developmental Services convened a Mental Health Task Force (MHTF) to jointly develop principles that address service and funding issues for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. The California Mental Health Directors Association and the Association of Regional Center Agencies were requested to appoint representatives to this task force.
In 1998, the Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4696.1 was amended (Statutes of 1998, Chapter 1043, Section 17) to increase cooperation and collaboration between regional centers and county mental health agencies. Thus, the MHTF continued as a forum to meet this mandate.
In 2006, the Mental Health/Developmental Disability Collaborative (Collaborative) was established and it replaced the MHTF. The Collaborative represents the interests of persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness and meets quarterly in Sacramento. It is co-chaired by both a regional center and county mental health director. The Collaborative includes representatives from the Association of Regional Center Agencies, the California Mental Health Directors Association, The Arc, regional centers, California Institute for Mental Health, private mental health service providers, family members, and both the Departments of Mental Health and Developmental Services.
The Collaborative strengthens relationships between agencies that provide mental health services to persons with developmental disabilities and provides an opportunity for agencies to address issues facing this population. The Collaborative also monitors legislation for potential impact on constituents, and maintains information about community resources providing mental health services to persons with developmental disabilities.