We thank Governor Newsom for signing into law AB 3242 (Irwin), which NAMI California co-sponsored with the California Hospital Association, to make mental health assessments — and as a result, treatment — quicker and more accessible through telehealth and other remote technology.
“On behalf of those we care for, California hospitals applaud Governor Newsom for signing into law a bill that will make urgent mental health treatment more accessible to those in need,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “This legislation, advanced in partnership with NAMI California and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, allows the use of telehealth to improve response times to emergency department requests for mental health evaluations. That means people in need will be able to get the right care more quickly, an invaluable tool as California’s health care providers work together to meet the growing needs of people with behavioral health conditions.”
“NAMI California joins the California hospitals in our appreciation to Governor Newsom for signing this important piece of legislation addressing a key barrier to effective treatment for mental illness in California,” said Jessica Cruz, CEO of NAMI California. “Assemblymember Irwin and the California Hospital Association have been important partners as we’ve looked at innovative and desperately needed solutions like telehealth to help address the critical bottleneck of assessment requests from emergency departments. As our families know, time spent waiting while you are in crisis helps no one. Getting prompt, quality assessment is an important first step in creating a care continuum that meets people where they are.”
This law will add an amendment to the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, which authorizes the involuntary commitment and treatment of persons with specified mental health disorders for the protection of the persons so committed. Under the act, if a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to themselves, or is gravely disabled, the person may, upon probable cause, be taken into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment. This amendment to the law will authorize an examination, assessment, or evaluation specified, required, or authorized by the above-mentioned provisions to be conducted using telehealth.
List of bills signed today by the Governor:
- SB 803 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Mental health services: peer support specialist certification
- AB 1976 by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) – Mental health services: assisted outpatient treatment.
- AB 2265 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – Mental Health Services Act: use of funds for substance use disorder treatment
- SB 855 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Health coverage: mental health or substance use disorders
- AB 465 Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) – Mental health workers: supervision.
- AB 1544 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act. A signing message can be found here.
- AB 1766 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Licensed adult residential facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly: data collection: residents with a serious mental disorder.
- AB 1979 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Foster youth: housing.
- AB 2112 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Suicide prevention. A signing message can be found here.
- AB 2174 by Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) – Homeless multidisciplinary personnel teams.
- AB 2275 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) – State armories: homeless shelters: security.
- AB 2377 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Residential facilities.
- AB 2553 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Shelter crisis declarations.
- AB 2960 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Shelter crises: fire and life safety standards.
- AB 3242 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Mental health: involuntary commitment.
- SB 1065 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – CalWORKs: homeless assistance.