ACCESS CALIFORNIA DOES NOT PROVIDE DIRECT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Mental Health Policy
Bills We're Watching
SB 10- Mental Health Services: peer, parent, transition-age, and family support specialist certification
This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to establish, no later than July 1, 2020, a statewide peer, parent, transition-age, and family support specialist certification program, as a part of the state’s comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder delivery system and the Medi-Cal program. The bill would include 4 certification categories: adult peer support specialist, transition-age youth peer support specialist, family peer support specialist, and parent peer support specialist.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to ensure that Mental Health Services Act funds are used in accordance with the provisions of the act and that there is adequate oversight of excess unspent funds.
AB 512- Medi-Cal: specialty mental health services
This bill would require each mental health plan to prepare a cultural competency assessment plan to address specified matters, including disparities in access, utilization, and outcomes by various categories, such as race, ethnicity, and immigration status.
AB 1352- Community mental health services: mental health boards
This bill would require a mental health board to report directly to the governing body, and to have the authority to act, review, and report independently from the county mental health department or county behavioral health department, as applicable.
ACCESS California State of the Community 2018-2019 Report
Each year ACCESS California provides a State of the Community Report from the perspective of client advocacy across California. ACCESS aims to address current policy topics, relevant training, and the overall goal of transformative client-driven mental health policy.
ACCESS California provides a brief snapshot summary of legislative policy moving through the California State Congress. This includes the recorded status, support and opposition, and fiscal impacts according to legislative committee analyses as of the above date.
Statement by Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO, Regarding Donald Trump’s Recent Comments on Mental Illness
"Mental illness doesn't cause violence, but violence causes mental illness. What are we doing for the living victims of the recent violent attacks, who are so soon forgotten by most public officials?
"There are more reasons, too, but the bottom line is this: When Clifford W. Beers, the founder of the modern mental health advocacy movement, said more than one hundred years ago that 'I must fight in the open,' he shed light on systemic failures and abuses that had been hidden behind institutional doors for decades. No reasoned person would want to go back there."
ACCESS California's Position Paper on Involuntary Mental Health Treatment
ACCESS California, as a part of Mental Health America, addresses the client-driven perspective on Involuntary Mental Health Treatment. The dignity of risk is a right that any other person without mental illness is granted freely, so we must find balance between coercive outpatient treatment and directing clients to choose healthier outcomes.
Accurate census data is extremely important because it drives congressional apportionment (how many members of the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to California), congressional and local redistricting (what populations and areas are represented by our elected federal and state lawmakers), and the allocation of federal funding for vital programs that support individuals receiving services in the PMHS, including:
Section 8/Low Income Housing vouchers and assistance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Medicare Part B
National School Lunch Program
State Children’s Health Insurance Program
Child Care & Development Fund
Supplemental Insurance for Women, Infants, and Children
Peer support services have been shown to decrease costs of services, reduce symptoms and hospitalization, and improve the well-being and social functioning of those receiving services. California is one of the last states in the country to develop a statewide peer certification program. Currently, the state is trying for the third time to pass a peer certification bill. This paper outlines ACCESS California's recommendations for what statewide peer certification in California should look like.
California tech companies are developing apps that use algorithms to track and measure clients’ mental states based on device use and behaviors, also known as digital phenotyping. The data collected from clients’ smartphones, web-connected devices, and wearable technology with apps such as 7 Cups of Tea and Mindstrong, is used for mental health screening and monitoring. The collected anonymous data also becomes private corporate property and could be resold for profit for targeted advertising, among other things. Counties are approving these apps and programs, often without stakeholder involvement, as Innovation programs to utilize Mental Heath Services Act money. This paper explains the risks associated with these programs, and the questions that client stakeholders should be asking their Counties prior to implementing them.