Mental Health Services Act Funding for Regional Centers

DDS is committed to improving the care of consumers with dual diagnoses (individuals with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health diagnosis) to:

  • Ensure ongoing statewide technical assistance to promote interagency collaboration regarding access to mental health services; and
  • Improve clinical capacity and effectiveness of direct services.


The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), approved by voters in November 2004, assists counties and state agencies by providing increased funding, personnel, and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition age youth (TAY), adults, older adults and families.

DDS began receiving ongoing MHSA funds in 2008-09 for regional centers to develop and oversee innovative projects. DDS distributes MHSA funds to regional centers in three-year cycles, utilizing a competitive application process. Project priorities are established and project selection is conducted in collaboration with key stakeholders. Only regional centers can apply for MHSA funding; however, they must work in partnership via subcontracts with local systems of care such as county mental health, private mental health agencies, alcohol/other drug services, educational entities, and/or other RCs.

DDS ensures that regional center projects follow the intent of the MHSA and that they uniformly:

  • Integrate evidence-based models and techniques;
  • Incorporate performance-based approaches, interventions, and strategies;
  • Provide an ongoing multi-disciplinary, collaborative process to identify local needs and ameliorate system challenges at the local level; and
  • Include a mechanism(s) to share information and resources statewide.

Last modified: July 3, 2020