Behavioral Health

About Behavioral Health

California has a behavioral health care crisis, as more Californians need care, and there are not enough providers to deliver that care. As a last resort, those facing a mental health crisis turn to hospital emergency departments. The number of people going to an emergency department for mental health needs jumped 68% from 2010 to 2020; for children 12 to 17 that number climbed 31%. Creating a behavioral health care system means making access easier and more equitable, while ensuring patients receive care in the most appropriate setting.

CHA Emergency Services Forum Discussed Patient Volume, Regulations, and Innovation

What’s happening: CHA hosted the 2024 Emergency Services Forum on May 6 in Newport Beach, California. The forum covered an array of topics, including compliance with legislation, regulating ambulance patient offload time, the impact of recent changes in the behavioral health system on emergency departments (EDs), and a keynote address by RaDonda Vaught, a nurse who was convicted of negligent homicide after accidentally giving a patient the wrong medication.   

What else to know: The forum saw a record attendance of 156 attendees this year, a capacity crowd of professionals and providers from around the state. The gathering provided clarity on laws that affect EDs, previewed upcoming regulations, and provided ED personnel the opportunity to discuss prehospital challenges. Those in attendance said it was a reminder there is a resilient community to lean on.  

Standing Together to Face California’s Behavioral Health Crisis 

This space — the weekly message from CHA’s President & CEO — is typically reserved to share the most up-to-date information about critical state and federal policy and advocacy developments. It’s an opportunity that I deeply value, to communicate directly with you, the members of the California Hospital Association who rely on the work this team does on your behalf. 

CHA to Host ED Resource Relief – Implementing the CARE Act Webinar

What’s happening: CHA will host a webinar on May 10 at 9 a.m. (PT) about a new option for hospitals to connect frequent users of emergency departments (EDs) and inpatient psychiatric services to the help they need: the Community, Assistance, Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) Act. 

What else to know: The webinar is free for CHA members, and registration is required.  

ED Resource Relief – Implementing the CARE Act

This year, every county in California will begin operating a new option for civil courts to be involved in the treatment of people with a serious mental illness: the CARE Act. Hospitals often treat individuals with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders who are in crisis and are not stabilized in treatment – people who seem to […]

Passage of Proposition 1 Will Change California’s Behavioral Health Spending Priorities

What’s happening: The passage of Proposition 1 in March renamed a major part of California’s mental health laws and changed state and county spending priorities that have been in place for 20 years. What used to be the “Mental Health Services Act” is now renamed the “Behavioral Health Services Act.”  

What else to know: CHA will provide members with additional details over the coming months, including advice on ensuring hospitals’ voices are heard in county-level decisions about funding.