We need your help.
Several critical bills have been introduced in the California State Assembly and State Senate that can improve the lives of individuals, families and communities impacted by mental illness.
What can you do? Find out about the legislation under consideration and sign our letters of support; links below.
Top Priority Legislation and Policies
Senate Bill 224 (Portantino) will provide California students in grades 1-12 with the mental health education they need. State Senator Anthony J. Portantino introduced SB 224 to require that all students in California receive age-appropriate mental health education. The bill, which NAMI California co-sponsored, ensures that students in grades 1 and 12 will receive mental health education from a qualified instructor at least one time during elementary school, one time during middle school, and one time during high school. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 224.
Assembly Bill 1065 (Maienschein) will help improve the outcomes of crisis calls involving law enforcement and people who are mentally ill. Assembly Member Brian Maienschein introduced AB 1065 to create a Mental Health Help Program that aids in training law enforcement officers to assist, and engage safely with, people living with a mental illness and allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the fund on their California tax returns. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 1065.
Assembly Bill 1331 (Irwin) will ensure that individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin introduced AB 1331 to establish a new position at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to focus on establishing and monitoring a comprehensive crisis care system that ensures Californians receive the care they deserve in the most expedient way possible. NAMI California is a co-sponsor of this bill with The California Hospital Association. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 1331.
California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Section 1115 Demonstration and Waiver. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is seeking to make changes to improve the delivery and outcomes of Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services for people living with serious, disabling mental health conditions and is requesting federal authority necessary to implement California Advancing & Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM). CalAIM recognizes the opportunity to move California’s whole-person care approach — first authorized by the Medi-Cal 2020 Section 1115 demonstration — to a statewide level, with a clear focus on improving health and reducing health disparities and inequities. This will improve health outcomes for Medi-Cal beneficiaries for those who need it most. Read NAMI CA’s letter to DHCS on CalAIM. Submit your comments during the DHCS 30-day public comment period via email and written correspondence, as well as during two public webinars scheduled for April 26 and May 3; DHCS will host a separate hearing for Tribal public comments on April 30. Additional information, including the proposed CalAIM Section 1115 demonstration renewal application and Section 1915(b) overview, how to submit public comments, and how to participate in a public hearing, is available on the CalAIM 1115 Demonstration & 1915(b) Waiver webpage. The public comment period deadline: May 6, 2021.
Additional Policies We Support
Assembly Bill 988 (Bauer-Kahan) will establish the “9-8-8” emergency response system for Californians experiencing a mental health crisis. Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan introduced AB 988 to establish the “9-8-8” emergency response system for Californians experiencing a mental health crisis. Find out more and read NAMI CA’s letter in support of AB 988.
Senate Bill 21 (Glazer) will develop a statewide mental health awareness license plate program to help improve youth mental health. State Senator Steve Glazer introduced SB 21 to require the California Department of Education (CDE) to apply to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish a mental health awareness license plate program that will also support mental health education in public schools. Find out more and read NAMI California’s letter in support of SB 21.
Complete overview of our positions on 2021 state legislation and more on NAMI California’s advocacy work and more actions you can take.