Legislation for Local Boards & Commissions
and Mental Health Divisions
CA Welfare & Institution Code (WIC):
5600 - 5623 5650-5667 5848
October 2019 Update
Through AB-1352 (HTML)(Word) CA enacted changes to WIC related to local mental/behavioral health boards/commissions. Changes are noted below in bold. Additional ways to review changes:
WIC 5604.5 (PDF)
The local mental health board shall develop bylaws to be approved by the governing body which shall do all of the following:
(a) Establish the specific number of members on the mental health board, consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 5604.
(b) Ensure that the composition of the mental health board represents and reflects the diversity and demographics of the county as a whole, to the extent feasible.
(c) Establish that a quorum be one person more than one-half of the appointed members.
(d) Establish that the chairperson of the mental health board be in consultation with the local mental health director.
(e) Establish that there may be an executive committee of the mental health board.
(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1374, Sec. 24. Effective October 28, 1992.)
WIC 5604.2 (PDF)
MHSA 5848 (PDF)
The local mental health board shall do all of the following:
MHSA Duties from Code Section 5848:
MHSA Plan Requirements, WIC 5848 (updated October 2019)
(a) Each three-year program and expenditure plan and update shall be developed with local stakeholders, including adults and seniors with severe mental illness, families of children, adults, and seniors with severe mental illness, providers of services, law enforcement agencies, education, social services agencies, veterans, representatives from veterans organizations, providers of alcohol and drug services, health care organizations, and other important interests. Counties shall demonstrate a partnership with constituents and stakeholders throughout the process that includes meaningful stakeholder involvement on mental health policy, program planning, and implementation, monitoring, quality improvement, evaluation, and budget allocations. A draft plan and update shall be prepared and circulated for review and comment for at least 30 days to representatives of stakeholder interests and any interested party who has requested a copy of the draft plans.
(b) The mental health board established pursuant to Section 5604 shall conduct a public hearing on the draft three-year program and expenditure plan and annual updates at the close of the 30-day comment period required by subdivision (a). Each adopted three-year program and expenditure plan and update shall include any substantive written recommendations for revisions. The adopted three-year program and expenditure plan or update shall summarize and analyze the recommended revisions. The mental health board shall review the adopted plan or update and make recommendations to the local mental health agency or local behavioral health agency, as applicable, for revisions. The local mental health agency or local behavioral health agency, as applicable, shall provide an annual report of written explanations to the local governing body and the State Department of Health Care Services for any substantive [see (f) below] recommendations made by the local mental health board that are not included in the final plan or update.
(f) For purposes of this section “Substantive recommendations made by the local mental health board” means any recommendation that is brought before the board and approved by a majority vote of the membership present at a public hearing of the local mental health board that has established its quorum. (WIC 5848 updated 10/19)
WIC 5604.3 (PDF)
(a) The Board of Supervisors may pay from any available funds the actual and necessary expenses of the members of the Mental Health Board of a community mental health service incurred incident for the performance of their official duties and functions. The expenses may include travel, lodging, childcare and meals for the members of an advisory board while on official business as approved by the director of mental health programs.
(b) Governing bodies are encouraged to provide a budget for the local mental health board, using planning and administrative revenues identified in subdivision (c) of Section 5892 [see below], that is sufficient to facilitate the purpose, duties, and responsibilities of the local mental health board.
WIC 5892 (c) The allocations pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) shall include funding for annual planning costs pursuant to Section 5848 . The total of these costs shall not exceed 5 percent of the total of annual revenues received for the fund. The planning costs shall include funds for county mental health programs to pay for the costs of consumers, family members, and other stakeholders to participate in the planning process and for the planning and implementation required for private provider contracts to be significantly expanded to provide additional services pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 5800 ) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 5850 ).
Local Membership Criteria
WIC 5604. (PDF) (a) (1) Each community mental health service shall have a mental health board consisting of 10 to 15 members, depending on the preference of the county, appointed by the governing body, except that boards in counties with a population of less than 80,000 may have a minimum of five members. A county with more than five supervisors shall have at least the same number of members as the size of its board of supervisors. This section does not limit the ability of the governing body to increase the number of members above 15.
(2) (A) The board serves in an advisory role to the governing body, and one member of the board shall be a member of the local governing body. Local mental health boards may recommend appointees to the county supervisors. The board membership should reflect the diversity of the client population in the county to the extent possible.
(B) Fifty percent of the board membership shall be consumers, or the parents, spouses, siblings, or adult children of consumers, who are receiving or have received mental health services. At least 20 percent of the total membership shall be consumers, and at least 20 percent shall be families of consumers.
(C) In addition to consumers and family members referenced in subparagraph (B) Counties are encouraged to appoint individuals who have experience with and knowledge of the mental health system. This would include members of the community that engage with individuals living with mental illness in the course of daily operations, such as representatives of county offices of education, large and small businesses, hospitals, hospital districts, physicians practicing in emergency departments, city police chiefs, county sheriffs, and community and nonprofit service providers.
(3) (A) In counties with a population that is less than 80,000, at least one member shall be a consumer, and at least one member shall be a parent, spouse, sibling, or adult child of a consumer, who is receiving, or has received, mental health services.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a board in a county with a population that is less than 80,000 that elects to have the board exceed the five-member minimum permitted under paragraph (1) shall be required to comply with paragraph (2).
(b) The mental health board shall review and evaluate the local public mental health system, pursuant to Section 5604.2, and advise the governing body on community mental health services delivered by the local mental health agency or local behavioral health agency, as applicable.
(c) The term of each member of the board shall be for three years. The governing body shall equitably stagger the appointments so that approximately one-third of the appointments expire in each year.
(d) If two or more local agencies jointly establish a community mental health service pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the mental health board for the community mental health service shall consist of an additional two members for each additional agency, one of whom shall be a consumer or a parent, spouse, sibling, or adult child of a consumer who has received mental health services.
(e) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a member of the board or the member's spouse shall not be a full-time or part-time county employee of a county mental health service, an employee of the State Department of Health Care Services, or an employee of, or a paid member of the governing body of, a mental health contract agency.
(2) A consumer of mental health services who has obtained employment with an employer described in paragraph (1) and who holds a position in which the consumer does not have any interest, influence, or authority over any financial or contractual matter concerning the employer may be appointed to the board. The member shall abstain from voting on any financial or contractual issue concerning the member's employer that may come before the board.
(f) Members of the board shall abstain from voting on any issue in which the member has a financial interest as defined in Section 87103 of the Government Code.
(g) If it is not possible to secure membership as specified in this section from among persons who reside in the county, the governing body may substitute representatives of the public interest in mental health who are not full-time or part-time employees of the county mental health service, the State Department of Health Care Services, or on the staff of, or a paid member of the governing body of, a mental health contract agency.
(h) The mental health board may be established as an advisory board or a commission, depending on the preference of the county.