The Help@Hand collaborative of cities and counties — focused on demonstrating how technology can be incorporated into the behavioral health care system– completed its work as a multi-year innovation project in June 2024. Funded by the Mental Health Services Act, the program’s ultimate vision was to enhance the mental health support and overall well-being of Californians by integrating technologies and real-life experiences.

CalMHSA administered Help@Hand on behalf of participating member counties with overall management, as well as benchmarking successful processes and tools (through to its conclusion in June 2024).

Evaluators at UC Irvine recently found that online tools may have helped adults, especially from Help@Hand counties and cities, to seek more help for mental health concerns during 2019-22. Additionally:

  • Over 70% of teens and 80% of adults rated online tools for addressing mental health concerns as useful, in both Help@Hand and non-Help@Hand counties and cities. 
  • CalMHSA was an effective central point to facilitate a range of tasks and services for counties/cities, including distributing funds, identifying vendors and contracting. 
  • Counties/cities learned that digital health literacy involved teaching people about mental health, the language used and the array of aspects that are a part of mental health.  
  • Many innovation programs illuminated the importance of device access and literacy in daily living, which went beyond mental health support.   
  • Counties/cities valued the benefits of collaboration during the project planning process. They shared that collaboration made it easier to allocate funds and provide services to community members, all while introducing new and innovative approaches.  

Program Details

Lead Staff:

Brittany Ganguly

Senior Program Manager

Email: [email protected]

Participating Counties:

City of Berkeley, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Tehama