Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC


  ( Division 5 repealed and added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1667. )


  ( Heading of Part 2 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1374, Sec. 14. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [5600 - 5623.5]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 989. )


(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.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 460, Sec. 3. (AB 1352) Effective January 1, 2020.)