1 in 4 adults experience a behavior health challenge every year and 1 in 5 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported this year that 7.7 million adults have co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness. These numbers show that we are all affected by behavioral health — whether it’s because someone themselves is experiencing it or because a family member or a friend is.
First and foremost, California needs to make sure that every single person in the state has access to affordable and quality health care. That means expanding the services we already offer to as many Californians as possible and fighting back against the Trump administration’s attack on our healthcare.
Mental health awareness and substance abuse education need to be a regular part of routine visits to the doctor’s and we have to encourage open and honest conversations about behavioral health within our own families and close circles. As parents, we need to be honest about our own challenges with behavioral health — being good role models for our children who might encounter such challenges in the future.
Absolutely. Prioritizing behavioral health means prioritizing the well-being of my constituents and all of Californians.