Notes from the Field: Behavioral Health in California

February 2, 2019

In 2018, ITUP travelled across California, convening local health leaders to discuss the most pressing community issues. Based on an escalating statewide crisis, ITUP identified behavioral health as a topical focus for regional discussions. In 2017, almost one in five Californians reported needing help for a mental health condition or substance use disorder. Of those who needed help, only 60 percent saw a health professional for their condition.[1] The vast number of Californians with unmet behavioral health needs has indeed reached crisis proportions – and communities across California are responding by doing whatever it takes to help those in need.

This report outlines background on Medi-Cal mental health and substance use disorder treatment in California, and highlights key findings from 2018 ITUP regional workgroup discussions.

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[1] UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, “2017 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS),” October 2018.