Adrienne Shilton to join the California Alliance

The California Alliance has announced that it will bring on Adrienne Shilton as a Senior Policy Advisor for Behavioral Health in October. Ms. Shilton has been the Government Affairs Director at the Steinberg Institute since 2017. She is a recognized expert in mental health policy who has devoted her career to improving the well-being of people living with brain illness and substance use disorders.

Ms. Shilton became involved in mental health policy as a key staff person in the campaign to pass the 2004 Mental Health Services Act. Prior to her position with the Steinberg Institute, she has worked in a variety of roles to carry out the vision for services laid out in the law, including as the director of intergovernmental affairs for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association.

Before joining CBHDA, Adrienne was a senior associate with the nonprofit California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, and a senior policy analyst with the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies. She has been a champion for culturally relevant program design, incorporating peer support as a crucial piece of recovery, and using evaluation and outcomes-based reporting to drive strategy. “I am thrilled to join the outstanding team at the Alliance, and advocate for the behavioral health needs of children and families in California.”

Ms. Shilton has served as an adviser on several statewide efforts, and currently sits on a task force examining mental health issues in California’s LGBTQ community. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Knox College, and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from California State University, Sacramento.

“We are so pleased to welcome Adrienne to the Alliance team,” says CEO Stoner-Mertz. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in behavioral health policy and advocacy that will further our leadership on issues related to behavioral health for California’s children, youth and families.” Bringing on a full-time staff focused on behavioral health is part of the organization’s strategic vision.

Dr. Lynn Thull, who has been the Alliance’s mental health consultant for the past nine years, will remain involved in policy and advocacy work as well independent consulting. CEO Stoner-Mertz, expressing thanks to Dr. Thull, says “Lynn has led the Alliance’s policy, advocacy and practice improvement work for nine years. Her contribution has been significant, and we are grateful to have had her as part of our team.”