Civic Group
Mental Health Client Action Network

There is no need to feel alone with someone who really understands.

Years of service: 25+

Leadership: Sarah Leonard, Executive Director

Their story: The Mental Health Client Action Network of Santa Cruz County is a peer-run organization dedicated to providing mutual support and networking, to having a voice in all matters which affect us, to creating programs controlled by peers, to advocating for the rights to choose our own life paths, to educating the public from our own perspective, and to working to eradicate treatment disparities and confronting discrimination. MHCAN provides connection in the tumult of life. MHCAN is the only peer run organization providing peer support services in Santa Cruz County. Only a real peer run organization tends to hold true to what a peer really is. Nothing feels more alone than to be with someone who doesn't really understand. At MHCAN, they take pride in our differences. They are diverse folks who have lived with and through varied diagnoses with courage and skills. Everyone who works for MHCAN, including the Executive Director, has been diagnosed with a major Mental Health Diagnosis or as some people say, a "Serious Mental Illness" or SMI. "We are gifted that way; there are things we learn from different states of being which can guide us and help us to guide others along similar pathways of difference."