Governor Signs Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s Mental Health Services Bill
Today the Governor signed Assembly Bill 2265 (AB 2265), which will authorize counties to use Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds to treat people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
A third of adults who receive county mental health services for serious mental illnesses, have a co-occurring substance or alcohol use disorder. AB 2265 removes barriers to serving individuals under MHSA funded services. It does not redirect any funding from counties or other MHSA-funded programs. The bill instead provides much needed clarity to existing statute in order for those who are experiencing mental health illness in addition to substance use or alcohol disorders get the care they need.
“Individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use conditions are among California’s most underserved. Numerous studies demonstrate that integrated care is necessary for successful treatment, and there must be “no wrong door” to access services and support, said Adrienne Shilton with the CA Alliance of Child and Family Services. "This bill preserves MHSA’s focus on meeting the state’s large unmet mental health needs with a more comprehensive approach.”
The effects and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic loss, and devastating wildfires, have brought upon a crisis of stress, depression, and anxiety to Californians. “It is essential that our counties have the resources to treat those who need mental health services to live a better quality of life,” said Assemblymember Quirk-Silva. “This bill is a part of the larger dialogue I have been working on at the state and local level to address not only mental health, but homelessness, and the need for wrap-around services. To combat any of these issues, we need to focus on them not as individual crises, but instead recognize they are all interconnected. I thank Governor Newsom for signing this legislation as an important step forward.”
The Assemblywoman looks forward to continuing to work on these issues.