In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) is hosting two opportunities to learn about Parity in Mental Health Services. These trainings will feature personal stories and information on mental health parity laws.

Tuesday, May 5 in San Luis Obispo from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Vet’s Hall, 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo

Wednesday, May 6 in Santa Maria from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Vet’s Hall, 501 North Pine Street, Santa Maria

Don’t Take No For An Answer: Historically, insurance companies and health care services plans have not provided equal coverage between physical health, mental health, and substance abuse disorders. For people needing mental health treatment, there are fewer services, more restrictions on those services, and greater costs, both monetarily and for mental health wellness and recovery. Federal and state laws require insurance companies to provide mental health and substance abuse benefits at the same level as physical health benefits. Few people are aware of these laws or how to advocate for equal coverage and as a result do not get what they need.

Through funding from CalMHSA’s Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Project, Disability Rights California trains communities on mental health parity laws and equips participants with tools and strategies to advocate for mental health and substance abuse care. We can discuss individual mental health parity issues, provide counsel and advice, provide help filing complaints, and in select cases raising systemic issues, provide direct representation.

These trainings are free and you do not need to register to attend. For more information, please contact Shannon McOuat with TMHA at (805) 540-6510 or shannon@t-mha.org.

ABOUT TMHA: Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. TMHA operates 30 programs at over 35 locations that reach over 2,000 people and 1,500 families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The emphasis of TMHA’s many services is to teach vital independent living skills, and build a framework for community re-entry through personal empowerment and hands on experience. For over 30 years, TMHA has been dedicated to providing housing, employment, case management and life-skills support to teens and adults with mental illness; and support, resources and education for their loved ones. For more information, visit www.T-MHA.org.

ABOUT DRC: Disability Rights California advocates, educates, investigates, and litigates to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities. For more information, visit www.disabilityrightsca.org.

ABOUT CalMHSA: The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Prevention and Early Intervention programs implemented by CalMHSA are funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). Prop 63 provides the funding and framework needed to expand mental