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When California voters passed Proposition 63 — the Mental Health Services Act — in 2004, the state and counties were mandated to develop an approach to providing mental health prevention and early intervention services and education for Californians. In turn, the California Mental Health Services Authority — a coalition of California counties designed to provide economic and administrative support to mental health service delivery — began a program to reduce adverse outcomes for Californians who experience mental illness through three strategic initiatives by developing statewide capacities and implementing interventions to (1) reduce stigma and discrimination toward those with mental illness, (2) prevent suicide, and (3) improve student mental health.

This document summarizes first-year findings from an ongoing evaluation of the program's suicide prevention initiative. It describes what the activities partners in the initiative are engaging in; what they have accomplished so far; what California suicide rates were prior to the start of the initiative, for later comparison; and what the plans for the future evaluation of the suicide prevention initiative are.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), and was produced within RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

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