Behavioral Health

Overview

Behavioral Health

California’s children’s hospitals have a unique perspective on the state’s behavioral health system, including its shortcomings.  Across the socioeconomic spectrum, emergency departments are treating an increasing number of children in crisis.  Sometimes these children have had no previous interaction with a behavioral health provider, despite their symptomatology.  They may also face significant barriers to obtaining outpatient or residential treatment even after their emergency department visit or psychiatric inpatient stay.

CCHA is working to raise awareness about this crisis and to advocate for changes to state and federal law to improve access to early prevention, intervention and treatment services for children struggling with behavioral health issues.

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CCHA Holds Mental Health Briefing

On March 5, 2021, CCHA and the California Alliance for Child and Family Services hosted a series of virtual briefings with members of the Senate Mental Health Caucus, legislative and budget staff, and behavioral health leadership at the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Department of Health Care Services.  The purpose of the briefings was to highlight the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and adolescents, and discuss our advocacy priorities related to these impacts. You can watch the recording of the legislative staff briefing below:

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CCHA Recommends Improvements to Mental Health Services for Children

Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters begin by age 24.  In other words, mental illness is a disease of youth — one with profound long-term implications for children, their families and their communities.  California’s children’s hospitals — and especially, our emergency departments — serve an increasing number of youth in crisis every year.  We have observed the shortcomings in the current behavioral health system and we recognized the opportunities for improvement.