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.
What’s happening: 988 replaced the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in 2022. CHA’s Kirsten Barlow has been appointed to California’s 988-Crisis Policy Advisory Group tasked with developing a comprehensive five-year plan for the system.
What else to know: Barlow will ensure the hospital voice is part of the conversation shaping the future of a system designed to help people at risk of suicide, or with mental health or substance use disorder challenges.
What’s happening: Gov. Gavin Newsom launched the Yes on Proposition 1 campaign on Jan. 3. The $6 billion bond measure would reform California’s Mental Health Services Act and create more than 10 thousand new behavioral health treatment beds across the state.
What else to know: Kirsten Barlow, CHA vice president, policy, attended the Yes on Proposition 1 Kickoff event in Los Angeles. Barlow’s focus area is behavioral health. Prop. 1 will be on the March 5 primary ballot.
Solutions must mirror those in primary care, where the goal is to prevent illness and provide the right care in the right setting.
Due to a shortage of behavioral health resources, many Californians struggle to find the treatment they need.
What’s happening: The California State Auditor recently investigated children’s access to Medi-Cal-covered behavioral health services.
What else to know: The auditor concluded that many Medi-Cal health plans were out of compliance with state requirements for timely care and that the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is not adequately disciplining health plans.
What’s happening: For the first time, CHA’s 2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium (Dec. 12-13) will be held in Sacramento and have a heavy legislative focus.
What else to know: The keynote speaker will be Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, (D-Stockton), chair of the Senate Health Committee and a leader on behavioral health in the Legislature.
What’s happening: CHA’s 2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium (Dec. 12-13) in Sacramento will offer continuing education (CE) credits in multiple areas for qualifying participants.
What else to know: To qualify to receive CE credits, registrants must complete a post-event survey, attest to participation, and provide a professional license number.