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 Joins Advisory Group for California’s New 988 System

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.  

CHA Stands with Governor Newsom on Behavioral Health Ballot Proposition

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.   

Children’s Behavioral Health Services Lack Timely Access

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.

2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium Will Be Held in Sacramento for First Time

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.