Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing large-scale investments in mental health care in California. A longtime vocal advocate for mental health care reform, Newsom’s state budget proposal, released January 10, emphasized the impacts of untreated mental illness on communities in California.
“In any given year, one in four families in California deal with a mental health condition,” said Newsom in an article he wrote on Medium in 2018. “It’s hard to think of a public policy issue not impacted by the state of mental healthcare.”
Newsom’s budget proposal promised aggressive investments in early intervention and detection, a reorganization of the state’s approach to mental health care, and vast improvements to treatment access.
The budget proposal includes the following lines that connect directly with the work of AIM:
- $25 million for innovative programs that provide effective early detection and treatment for young people in the early stages of psychosis-related illness.
- $45 million to fund screening for ACES – or Adverse Childhood Experiences. This is rooted in research that has found a direct correlation between chronic adversity in childhood and later onset of physical and mental illness. That same research has found that early detection and intervention can reverse that damage.
- $5.3 million to bolster mental health counseling at the University of California campuses.
- $50 million to grow the mental health workforce by increasing training opportunities.
- $20 million to expand training for law enforcement on how to de-escalate encounters with people in psychiatric crisis.
And the following proposals which will help position California as a leader in mental health care:
- $500 million in state funding to site and build emergency shelters and permanent supportive housing for people who are living homeless with a serious mental illness.
- Expediting allocation of bond awards from the “No Place Like Home” program, which will generate $2 billion in new funding to get people who are living homeless with serious mental illness off the streets and into long-term recovery.
- Streamlining California’s Environmental Quality Act to make it easier to build housing and treatment facilities for people with serious mental illness.
- $100 million to expand “whole-person care” pilot programs, which offer intensive wrap-around services to people with progressed and debilitating mental illness.
Photo by LA Times