We were pleased to see a commitment to prioritize behavioral health in Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2021-2022 state budget. The proposed investments in mental health and substance abuse programs will help community members in desperate need. Matters related to behavioral health are summarized here; highlights are below and the full summary is here.
Community Behavioral Health Capacity
Funding to “invest in critical gaps across the community-based behavioral health continuum, including the addition of at least 5,000 beds, units or rooms” to expand capacity.
California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM)
Reinitiate and revise CalAIM’s system, program, and payment reforms, which had been cut in last year’s budget due to COVID-19. Also, mental health features to be included in CalAIM.
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Funds
Extend for an additional year the flexibilities in county spending of local MHSA funds included in last year’s budget.
Mental Health in Schools
Incentivize Medi-Cal managed care plans to increase the number of children and adolescents receiving preventative and early intervention behavioral health services in school. Expand the Mental Health Student Services Act Partnership Grant Program. Partnerships with county behavioral health to support student mental health services. Increase student mental health resources in community colleges.
Care for Postpartum Mothers
Coverage extended for postpartum mothers diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Funding for proposals to implement the Master Plan for Aging and the creation of a “Senior Advisor on Aging, Disability, and Alzheimer’s.”
Funding to analyze the intersection of COVID-19, health disparities, and health equity and help inform future responses, and for the development of a racial equity dashboard.
Proposed behavioral health community infrastructure grants and a new Department of Housing and Community Development to continue providing Project Homekey grants.
Reduce waitlists for individuals in need of competency restoration services. Projects to keep youth “out of the criminal justice system, moving them quickly and successfully through the system, and keeping them from reentering the system.” Close the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Juvenile Justice by June 2023 and realign responsibilities to counties.