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What We’ve Learned: Behavioral Health During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, BHA has had several eye-opening conversations with leaders in behavioral health here in California.

Some key lessons:

  1. Californians’ mental health has worsened during the pandemic.
  2. The next surge is a wave of behavioral health challenges.
  3. A glimmer of hope: providers are rising to meet the moment with innovative solutions.

Quotes that stood out to us:

  • “And we recognize that COVID-19 has only made the need for trauma-informed care and for ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) screening, frankly, more acute because ACEs are only going up right now… If we’re looking at mental health and behavioral health outcomes, we see people having increased challenges.” – Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General (watch more)
  • “Well, like many healthcare industries, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the very fiber of the behavioral healthcare delivery system, and in turn, the safety net that provides critical behavioral health services to hundreds of thousands of Californians, who our members serve.” – Le Ondra Clark Harvey, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA) (watch more)
  • We have really jumped from the in-person support groups in classes to virtual classes and support groups. It’s been really exciting to watch all of our affiliates and family members rise to that occasion to make sure that we’re providing services and supports to people who need it the most.” – Jessica Cruz, CEO, NAMI California and BHA Co-Chair (watch more)
  • “We’ve talked about surge in the hospital setting, I think it’s fair to expect that we will see a surge of people needing a whole range of mental health and substance use disorder services from crisis intervention, just somebody to talk to, to people needing more long-term treatment.” – Catherine Teare, Associate Director, High-Value Care Staff, California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) (watch more)
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