Behavioral Health

About Behavioral Health

An estimated 7.5 million people in California experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but only one-third of adults who experience mental illness are getting treatment. The caregivers at hospitals know the obstacles people with behavioral health conditions face and the challenges in getting them the treatment they need.

While hospitals embrace the essential role they play in addressing this crisis, more needs to be done. Investments are needed to tackle a crisis made even worse by COVID-19. California must prioritize behavioral health investments in prevention, early assessment, identification of needs, and aggressive treatment for all, regardless of health coverage or ZIP code.

In addition, solutions like payment reform, resource allocation, more outpatient and community-based services, a bolstered behavioral health workforce, and a statewide set of standardized core services will help Californians with behavioral health conditions access the care they deserve.

National Suicide Hotline Bill Signed into Law

On Oct. 17, President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act into law, designating 988 as the nationwide three-digit phone number to connect people experiencing mental health crises to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  

Report: COVID-19 Continues to Take a Toll on Americans’ Mental Health

A report from the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee examines how COVID-19’s health and economic repercussions have led to “an unprecedented mental health crisis” in America. The 13-page report summarizes earlier surveys and studies that have found:

Two-thirds of Americans fear that they or their loved ones will be exposed to the virus. 
More than 12 million Americans are unemployed, and, since February, more than 5 million have given up looking for work.
Nearly one-third of adult Americans are having trouble paying for typical household expenses. 

DHCS Offers List of Certified Recovery or Treatment Facilities

A web page maintained by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) may be useful for emergency departments and psychiatric hospitals in locating discharge sites. The list is alphabetical by county and includes all non-medical licensed residential facilities and alcoholism and drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities, as well as outpatient programs licensed and/or certified by DHCS. Contact numbers, addresses, and resident capacity are contained in the data.  

CHA Spotlights CA Bridge Program

CHA and the California Bridge Program have partnered to provide members with a 15-minute on-demand video that explains the origins and benefits of the California Bridge Program’s highly successful opioid treatment model. 

App Helps Guide Individuals During a Behavioral Health Crisis

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released “My Mental Health Crisis Plan,” a new mobile app that allows individuals with serious mental illness to create a plan to help guide their treatment preferences during a mental health crisis. 

Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Acute Care Hospitals


Opioid abuse is a long-standing problem in California.
The substance use disorder (SUD) crisis might seem insurmountable, but the CA Bridge Program has developed a model of care that saves lives and helps patients with SUDs get back on track. The 24/7 program is built upon three pillars: rapid access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), welcoming and destigmatized care and specially trained substance use navigators (SUNs) that connect patients to ongoing care and support.

Study Examines Outpatient Care for Youth After Psychiatric Hospitalization

A new cohort study published Aug. 11 in JAMA Network looks at Outpatient Mental Health Care for Youths After Psychiatric Hospitalization and Suicide Risk. The study found that risk of suicide during the six months after psychiatric hospitalization was decreased among youth who had an outpatient mental health visit within seven days after discharge, and concluded that addressing disparities in timely continuity of care may help advance health equity agendas.