Mental Health

This page is maintained by the Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) and includes tools, resources, and information for court staff and system partners to meet the mental health needs of youth and families involved in the court system. CFCC is dedicated to improving the quality of justice and services to meet the diverse needs of children, youth, and families using the California courts.


The goal of CFCCs Family and Juvenile Mental Health program work is to strengthen the judicial branch’s response addressing the mental health needs of youth and families who are involved, or at risk for involvement, with the court system. Program work is supported through Mental Health Services Act funds.

Additional information on the Family and Juvenile Mental Health Program
Goals can be found here.

Mental Health Youth Services Dashboard

The Mental Health Youth Services Dashboard (MHYSD) showcases the mental health needs of youth in California and highlights gaps in mental health services access and utilization for youth enrolled in the Medi-Cal program. When complete, this series of infographics will include data on California’s youth population, delivery, and utilization of mental health services, including Managed Care Medi-Cal and Children’s Health Insurance Program, gaps in utilization, services accessed by foster youth, and racial disparities affecting mental health outcomes.

  • MHYSD Infographic #1: Who are the youth in California? (Coming Soon)
  • MHYSD Infographic #2: How Do Youth Receive Mental Health Care in California? (Coming Soon)

Juvenile Mental Health Briefing Series

This briefing series examines ways for courts to engage with partners to access necessary mental health services and to help courts and system partners better bridge service gaps and challenges.

  • The Need for Mental Health Treatment for Children in the Juvenile Delinquency and Dependency Systems. Provides an overview of the need for treatment and challenges in obtaining appropriate mental health services.
  • Statewide MHYSD Companion: Who Are The Youth In California? (Coming Soon). This briefing serves as a companion to the Statewide MHYSD and provides in-depth discussion about data elements in the Dashboard’s first section describing California youth.
  • Statewide MHYSD Companion: How Do Youth Receive Medical Care in California? (Coming Soon).

Juvenile Mental Health Tools and Resources

While created for use by judges in the courtroom, these resources are also appropriate for court system and education partners to help better understand and address the behavioral health needs of youth and families involved in the courts.

  • Supporting the Behavioral Health of Youth and Families in Family Court. (Coming Soon)
  • Supporting the Behavioral Health of Youth and Families in Probate Guardianship Court. (Coming Soon)
  • Supporting the Mental Health of Youth in Juvenile Court provides judges with a set of bench cards and a companion resource guide that offers a wealth of information about mental health diagnosis, treatment, resources, and more.
  • Understanding Trauma and Supporting Educational Opportunity includes bench cards that describe how trauma can impact educational attainment, set forth how to highlight education at every hearing, and provide guidance on creating trauma-informed spaces for children and youth.

Juvenile and Family Mental Health Webinars

The following webinars are hosted by CFCC and include curated interdisciplinary content on a variety of topics related to juvenile and family mental health.

Effective Models and Approaches

Tips and Tools: How to Work with, Understand, Support Youth Dealing with Mental Health Issues (42:41)

This video explores techniques and culturally responsive approaches to engage with young people who may have behavioral health challenges (mental wellness or substance abuse.)

Juvenile Mental Health: Panel Discussion on Youth Engagement During COVID-19 (Part 2) (48:45)

Panelists from Part 1 of the presentation address strategies for courts and their partners to better work with young people, especially in light of the additional challenges posed by the pandemic.

How Courts Can Support the Mental Health of Youth and Families (52:16)

This webinar provides courts and justice partners with an understanding of the role that they can play in responding to mental health needs and advancing access to mental health care for court-involved youth and families.

jcc mental health

Judicial System Considerations for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (67:00)

This webinar provides information for courts and justice partners to consider when working with youth who have autism spectrum disorder.

Contemplating Race, Access to Justice, and Equity (55:02)

This webinar addresses how race and implicit bias can affect decisions and outcomes in the justice system. Participants will explore challenges and strategies illustrated through hypothetical situational exercises involving racial bias, perceptions of behaviors, and decision making.

contemplating race, access to justice, and equity
Mental Health Services: Key Programs, Access, and Funding

MHSA Funding Webinar (13:33)

Guide for courts to access Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. Information is also available in MHSA Funding Information Sheet.


Understanding the Nuts and Bolts of Mental Health Care for Children and Families (58:21)

The first in a series of webinars held in conjunction with the National Center for Youth Law. Part 1 offers an overview of the mental health needs, services, and supports available to children and families in California. Includes information about key programs and funding sources.

understanding the nuts and bolts of mental health


California's Evolving Approach to Mental Health – What Courts Need to Know (54:00)

The second in a series of webinars held in conjunction with the National Center for Youth Law. Part 2 provides an overview of ongoing efforts to reform and improve California's mental health care system, and how this may impact youth and families in California courts.

california's evolving approach to mental health

CalAIM: Changes to Medi-Cal related to children and youth. (Coming Soon)

jcc mental health

Special Projects for At-Risk Populations

Family and Juvenile Mental Health Program staff are involved in initiatives to improve access and services to our youth and families.

Foster Care Model of Care Workgroup was established to create a long-term plan for how children and youth in foster care receive health care services (physical health, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, social services, and oral health). The workgroup also will determine whether or not a new system of care should be developed.

Additional Mental Health Related Resources

For further mental health work please see the following JCC web pages:

Adult Behavioral Health Education and Resources

Collaborative Justice Courts

Special Education Rights Self Help Page