Our mental health impacts how we view ourselves, the world around us and ultimately how we experience life. This matters because it impacts us all. Behavioral health is inextricably tied to our well being and overall health. There are over 6 million Californians who have experienced mental health challenges. All Californians deserve quality behavioral health resources, support and information to support them on their mental health journey.
From anxiety to clinical disorders and substance abuse, behavioral health is one of the most common health conditions. Providing comprehensive health care means caring about behavioral health. To help increase access to care I support the creation of a comprehensive statewide plan that would ensure the quality of care a patient receives isn’t based on their zip code. I also support more funding for preventative and early interventions to quickly identify the specific support people need in order to regain control of their lives. We know that behavioral health is deeply tied to other social challenges, such as – homelessness, criminal justice, veterans rights and dysfunctional family dynamics – this is why we must ensure organizations focused on these key social issues have stronger ties to the behavioral health resources needed for the vulnerable populations they serve.
We can set an example for how to destigmatize behavioral health by not being afraid to talk about it, by having comprehensive legislation that supports people impacted by mental health and substance abuse challenges and by uplifting the great on-the-ground work and wins from community organizations and advocates across California.
Yes I will continue to view behavioral health as a critical issue that is tied to systemic health and racial injustice challenges.