What they say: Children’s groups, counties and more respond positively to progress on Gov. Newsom’s proposed mental health reforms

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sacramento – Children and youth groups, families, counties, workers, and mental health and substance use professionals responded positively to Governor Newsom’s proposed progress on the major transformation and modernization of the state’s mental health services system. Indicated. Bills related to the Behavioral Health Act are expected to be reviewed and approved by Congress in 2023, signed by Governor Newsom, and voter approval in March 2024.

Yesterday, the Senate Health Committee held an information hearing on the Mental Health Services Act Reform Proposed by Gov. Newsom and introduced by Senator Eggman as SB 326. It includes newly revised language following weeks of stakeholder meetings and input to strengthen this historic provision. Reform and help more Californians get the services and care they need.

“The behavioral health crises occurring on our streets, in hospitals, in prisons, and at home across the state require immediate action.” Senator Susan Thalamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, author of Senate Bill 326; “SB 326 will invest billions of dollars each year in rebuilding priorities for mental health and helping to house people with serious behavioral health problems who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. and provide true accountability and transparency for spending.I applaud the Governor for his strong leadership on this incredibly difficult issue and will do everything in my power to get this issue to the finish line. .”

Here’s what they said at the hearing…

Children, Youth, Family Groups

  • Children’s Partnership Chairman Myra Alvarez:Given that this effort represents a historic opportunity to ensure the continuity of our care to ensure that the needs of historically marginalized children, youth and families are met, we Thank you to the Governor and Congress for enacting a bill amendment to maintain essential savings for children and children. Continue to advance the state’s ongoing efforts to strengthen youth services and build a comprehensive all-child ecosystem for mental health of children and adolescents. ”

  • California Alliance for Children and Family Services: The CA Alliance is “thrilled that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reform of the Mental Health Services Act includes special benefits for children and adolescents.”

  • Larkin Street Youth Group CEO Sherilyn Adams: “Larkin Street Youth Services appreciates the response to community input reflected in the latest changes to the MHSA reform bill. Refocusing youth under 25 in prevention and early intervention services and to incorporate youth seats on committees: our most vulnerable young people are too often invisible to the systems on which they depend and their mental health is compromised. Health and drug use needs are only growing…”

  • Children Now Senior Director Rishawn Francis said: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the administration for their active cooperation with these amendments. I was really excited to see the need for behavioral health treatment with CalAIM and to expand the definition of homelessness beyond chronic homelessness.”

  • National Health Act Program Managing Director Kim Lewis: “The government’s behavioral health modernization proposals will strengthen California’s mental health and substance use disorder systems and promote access to high-quality, appropriate behavioral health services while simultaneously increasing federal and state budgets. …and we are pleased to see the recent changes that should be emphasized.” Focusing on the needs of young people under 25. ”

county official

  • Phoebe Bell, Director of Behavioral Health, Nevada County, said: “Counties, in advancing SB 326, acknowledge that the authors and administration recognize the many unresolved issues and challenges they face as public safety nets for mental health and substance use disorders. We also appreciate the inclusion of MHSA’s funding structure, which limits our ability to pay.” Opportunity…We would like to give special thanks to the authors and management for many improvements, including recognition of needs. Consider a small county like mine and our unique situation. ”

  • Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Superintendent of Santa Clara County Schools: “We are deeply grateful to Congress and the administration for the recent and historic investments and policy changes that have actually increased support for youth behavioral health and started moving California toward an integrated systems approach. These efforts are a positive step towards collaboration and coordination between schools and health care providers…Thanks to the administration for reinstating the provision mandating that 51% of early intervention funds be spent on children and adolescents. Masu…”

workers and workforce groups

  • SEIU California State Legislative Relations Advocate Matt Lege: “SEIU supports this because we believe it is a holistic and compassionate approach to care that focuses on equity.”

  • Dr. Le Ondra Clark Harvey, CEO, Council of California Community Behavioral Health Agencies: “Never in the last 20 years have our leaders paid more attention to behavioral health. Thank you for your attention. We look forward to a step-by-step approach with more accountability…the added flexibility of counties to decide how to use funds for substance use disorders is very welcome.”

Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Committee

  • Toby Ewing, Executive Director, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Committee: “This is a groundbreaking policy system really designed to support revolutionary change…[we don’t] Agree with all. I often refer to siblings who share a bathroom. We get along in many ways, but we also have conflicts at times. So thank you for your comments regarding our independence… I really appreciate the focus and restatement of this commitment to accountability. States and counties have yet to live up to their promises to their citizens. We’ve been working hard towards that, but we’re clearly not quite there. Therefore, we look forward to working with administrations to develop an implementation plan to get there. ”

Recent MHSA reforms

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