CHA News

CHA’s Coyle Discusses Behavioral Health With Governor’s Mental Health Czar

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Tom Insel, MD, behavioral health advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom, recently sat down for a one-on-one conversation with CHA’s President & CEO Carmela Coyle to discuss behavioral health care challenges across California’s 58 counties. The two discussed fundamental impediments to access to care, including lack of capacity, behavioral health care workforce shortages, getting patients the right care in the right setting, and hospitals’ role in caring for patients’ physical and behavioral health care needs.

CHA’s new four-part video series with Dr. Insel launched this week with the first two chapters, “Capacity of Behavioral Health Care Across California” and “The Shortage of Behavioral Health Care Workers.”

In the series’ introductory installment, Dr. Insel explains his statewide listening tour through different counties and the central themes that have emerged.

“One of the most profound is the issue of emergency room boarding and crowding, specifically for behavioral health — not entirely, but partially, driven by the increased number of young people who are showing up in the ER with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts,” he said.

According to Dr. Insel, that number has risen 92% nationally for adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17. 

Look for chapter 3 of the video series on Nov. 12, and the fourth and final chapter to be released on Nov. 19.

Our Health California (OHC), a digital advocacy community of more than 1 million Californians, has also released a consumer-focused video and Q&A with Dr. Insel. Supported by CHA, the OHC community has previously engaged in a number of advocacy issues related to improving behavioral health care in California.