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Mental Health Acronyms

Learning all the mental health lingo takes some time and will be of great importance as you start navigating the mental health system. Here are some commonly uses terms and phrases. We are constantly adding to the list, but hopefully they take the mystery out of mental health.

Acronym Definition Description
5150 Lanterman-Petris-Short Act #5150, section 5150 of California's Welfare and Institutions Code A California law code for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to a mental health condition.
ACBH Alameda County Behavioral Health (formerly Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services or Behavioral Health Care Services) Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH) is the lead agency providing coordination of mental health and substance use services in Alameda County. (Formerly known as ACBHCS)
ACBHCS Alameda County Behavioral Health (formerly Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services or Behavioral Health Care Services) Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH) is the lead agency providing coordination of mental health and substance use services in Alameda County.
ACCESS Acute Crisis Care and Evaluation for System-wide Services Alameda County’s central point of contact and coordination to mental health services. Alameda County Residents may call this number to be referred to all County mental health and substance abuse services (800-491-9099).
ACHCSA Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Alameda County's Health Services Agency is the large agency umbrella that administers: Behavioral Health Care, Public Health, Environmental Health, and Agency Administration/Indigent Health.
ACSO Alameda County Sheriff's Office The Alameda County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) is a law enforcement agency serving Alameda County, California.
AOD Alcohol and Other Drugs
BHCS Alameda County Behavioral Health (formerly Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services or Behavioral Health Care Services) Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH) is the lead agency providing coordination of mental health and substance use services in Alameda County.
CBO Community Based Organization Community based organizations are nonprofit groups that work at a local level to improve life for residents.
CIT Crisis Intervention Training Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is an evidence-based national training model to better prepare law enforcement personnel to work effectively and holistically with people in a serious mental health crisis.
CJMH Criminal Justice Mental Health Programs that provides mental health assessments, individual therapy, crisis intervention and medication support within a jail setting.
CSS Community Support Services This is a program type under the Mental Health Services Act Legislation meant to serve people who have the most severe mental health needs
CW Case Worker A caseworker is employed by a government agency, non-profit organization, or another group to take on the cases of individuals and provide them with advocacy, information or other services.
DOB Date of Birth The day someone was born, often needed on forms
ED Emergency Department The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medical and surgical care to patients arriving at the hospital in need of immediate care. The emergency department is also called the emergency room or ER.
EPSDT Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment EPSDT is an entitlement for children, 0 up to age 21, who are Medi-Cal eligible. It is designed to provide comprehensive mental health services that can correct or ameliorate mental health problems. These services often include coordination, case management, and an approach which includes family and other providers in the treatment plan.
ER Emergency Room A hospital room or area staffed and equipped for the reception and treatment of persons with conditions (as illness or trauma) requiring immediate medical care.
FSP Full Service Partnership Program type under the Mental Health Services Act that take a "whatever it takes" approach to serve those with the most server mental health needs
HIPAA Health Information Portability and Accountability Act Law that prohibits disclosing certain private health information
IEP Individualized Education Program (IEP) A written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in meetings between the parent and the IEP Team. In California the IEP covers specific learning disabilities defined by the state.
LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker Works with people in order to help deal with issues involving mental and emotional health.
MC Medi-Cal A program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources.
MHSA Mental Health Services ACT The Mental Health Services Act is a 1% tax on anyone who makes over a million dollars for mental health services in California meant to expand and transform the mental health system.
MSW Masters in Social Work A master's degree in social work (MSW) traditionally takes one to two years to complete and is typically a requirement for those hoping to hold a clinical, supervisory, or program director role.
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness The National Alliance On Mental Illness is a United States-based advocacy group originally founded as a grassroots group by family members of people diagnosed with mental illness.
NIMH National Institute on Mental Health
OPD Oakland Police Department The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is a law enforcement agency responsible for policing the city of Oakland, California.
PES Psychiatric Emergency Services Typically, a walk-in, urgent clinic for adults and children having a mental health crisis.
SED Serious Emotional Disorder Serious Emotional Disorder is the inclusive term for children and adolescents whose emotional and mental disturbance limits their development and require a comprehensive and coordinated system of care to meet their needs.
SMI Severe Mental Illness Serious Mental Illness is the term for people who have certain mental health diagnoses, and have difficulty managing their life because of that diagnosis.
SSDI Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI provides monthly income to individuals who are limited in their ability to work because of a physical or mental disability.
SSI Social Security Income Provides needed financial assistance to low-income people.
SW Social Worker Social workers are responsible for helping individuals, families, and groups of people to cope with problems they're facing to improve their patients' lives.
TAY Transition Aged Youth Transition Age Youth are youth ages approximately 16-24 who are struggling with mental health issues and sometimes substance use issues.
WRAP Wellness Recovery Action Plan A self-directed wellness plan.