Mental Health Commission
Attitudes Toward Mental Illness
In most societies, mental illness carries a substantial stigma, or mark of shame. The mentally ill are often blamed for bringing on their own illnesses, and others may see them as victims of bad fate, or religious and moral transgression. Such stigma may keep families from acknowledging that a family member is ill. Some families may hide or overprotect a member with mental illness—keeping the person from receiving potentially effective care—or they may reject the person from the family. Such attitudes lead to under-funding of mental health services and terribly inadequate care. Even today, in much of the world the mentally ill are chained, caged, or hospitalized in filthy, brutal institutions. Yet attitudes toward mental illness have improved in many areas, especially owing to health education and advocacy for the mentally ill by organizations such as the Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission.
The Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission was established by order of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on June 22, 1993, pursuant to the Welfare & Institutions Code 5604, also known as the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act, Stats. 1992, c. 1374 (A.B. 14). The primary purpose of the Commission is to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors and to the Mental Health Division and its staff. Commissioners are appointed by members of the County Board of Supervisors from each of the five districts for a term of three years. Each district has a consumer of mental health services, family member and an at-large representative on the Commission, for a total of 15 members plus a representative from the Board of Supervisors.
The Mental Health Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at 550 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill. Note: The Commission may not meet during the month of December. Check the Meeting Schedule page for a complete list of meetings.
In addition to the monthly Mental Health Commission meetings, committees, workgroups and task forces are formed as needed.
Sarah Kennard, Executive Assistant for the Mental Health Commission
1220 Morello Ave. Suite 100
Martinez, CA 94553 [Map & Directions]
The Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission has a dual mission:
- To influence the County's Mental Health System to ensure the delivery of quality services which are effective, efficient, culturally relevant and responsive to the needs and desires of the clients it serves with dignity and respect; and
- To be the advocate with the Board of Supervisors, the Mental Health Division, and the community on behalf of all Contra Costa County residents who are in need of mental health services.