Research Shows Power of Prevention for California’s Mental Health

What if our schools were stigma-free? What if we could talk about mental health challenges in the workplace? What if a child born today grew up knowing that her mental health is part of her overall health, and felt comfortable getting support when she needed it?

Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement is taking our state closer to that reality. Research shows teaching Californians about mental health and training key individuals to recognize signs of mental health challenges is making a difference in the fight against stigma and saving lives.

Infographic-RAND-Study-SDRReports from the RAND Corporation show that Californias prevention efforts through the California Mental Health Services Authority are working to improve the mental health of Californians and save the state money.

Supportive Schools – 250,000 teachers, students and staff in California’s kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools and colleges have been trained to recognize students in distress and connect them to resources.[1]

Meaningful Dialogue – RAND’s research found that California’s suicide prevention campaign, Know the Signs is empowering Californians to recognize the warning signs of suicide, talk to someone in crisis, and get them to professional help and resources. The study found people who saw Know the Signs material felt more confident to help friends or family at risk of suicide.[2] RAND also called the Know the Signs campaign “one of the best media campaigns on the subject of suicide prevention.”

Training Saves Lives, Dollars – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) teaches people to recognize signs of suicide, how to help friends or family in crisis and lead them to the right resources. RAND researchers found that ASIST saves California money by saving lives and resulting in fewer people needing crisis care. For every $1 invested in ASIST, California will gain $50.[3]

These results show great progress in building a California where Each Mind Matters, but our work is far from over. YOU can be a change agent in your community, using tools and resources developed with your community in mind. Visit for information and innovative programs that you can use to empower your community to achieve mental wellness.


[1] Mental Health Trainings in California’s Higher Education System are Associated with Increased Confidence and Likelihood to Intervene.

[2] Adults Exposed to Know the Signs are More Confident Intervening with Those at Risk for Suicide.

[3] Analysis of the Benefits and Costs of CalMHSA’s Investment in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)