Masters of mental health advocacy
ACCESS Ambassadors are mental health clients from across the state of California who provide their unique perspectives to inform the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health's work and perform wider advocacy-related activities both locally and statewide.
ACCESS Ambassadors receive extensive advocacy training and ongoing support from the ACCESS team to ensure key policy makers receive appropriate guidance, input, and subject matter expertise from stakeholders from diverse communities throughout California. Ambassadors recruit and train additional stakeholders within their own local communities to establish and strengthen local advocacy networks, increase stakeholder participation in the community planning process, and ensure county mental health systems incorporate client/consumer voice and choice in local-level policy planning, programming decisions, and services delivery.
ACCESS maintains a network of Ambassadors, representing all five of California's MHSA regions. All of these individuals have personal lived experience of recovery from a mental health challenge and have experience conducting community outreach, stakeholder engagement, and local- and state-level mental health advocacy.