This collection documents the history of mental health patient advocacy and services in California, with an emphasis on Los
Angeles County, from the 1960s to the present. Containing materials from longstanding grassroots advocacy organizations including
Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), and Project
Return Players, as well as from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the collection provides a diverse account
of the development and growth of mental health treatment in California. Records exist in various formats including court documents,
correspondence, printed publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, audiovisual materials, and ephemera.
The collection was acquired by Marcia L. Meldrum, Ph.D., a researcher in the UCLA Department of History and part of UCLA’s
Center for Health Services and Society. Meldrum began collecting materials in 2008, with the aim of documenting the recent
history of Mental Health Services in California and Los Angeles County. Materials were obtained from three main sources: Mental
Health Advocacy Services (MHAS), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization which provides legal advocacy to mental health
clients; the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH); and patient advocacy organizations related to the National
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), of which California has significant chapters. The physical collection is a supplement to
an interpretive website (
http://histpubmh.semel.ucla.edu/) created by UCLA’s Center for the Study of Public Mental Health in a collaboration between UCLA and LACDMH.
42.0 linear ft.
(41 record cartons, 1 document box, 1 half document box, 1 flat box)
Property rights to the physical object belong to Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for
the Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and
their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner
or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the Louise M. Darling Biomedical
Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles for paging information.