Today's Law As Amended

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SB-12 Mental health services: youth.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Adolescence and young adulthood, from 12 to 25 years of age, comprise a critical developmental period in a person’s life. The brain is highly malleable, so forming healthy habits of mind and body can have a powerful, lifelong impact on the overall wellness of each child. Recent research demonstrates how especially important it is to establish this foundation during adolescence and young adulthood.
(2) One-half of adolescents meet the criteria for a mental disorder at some point in their lives.
(3) Seventy-nine percent of youth and young adults with mental health issues do not access care.
(4) Seventeen percent of students seriously considered attempting suicide in prior years.
(5) Twenty percent of youth abuse alcohol on a monthly basis.
(6) Rates of youth marijuana use have reached the highest levels in history.
(b) Further complicating the critical mental health service crisis for young people is the reality that most adolescents and young adults are reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Lack of awareness and understanding of mental illness.
(2) Stigma associated with mental illness.
(3) Lack of age-appropriate, youth-friendly mental health services.
(4) Concerns about confidentiality and embarrassment in disclosing mental health concerns.
(5) Doubts about the effectiveness of the treatment available.
(6) Lack of affordable services and inadequate transportation to service locations.

SEC. 2.

 Part 3.35 (commencing with Section 5833) is added to Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

PART 3.35. Integrated Youth Mental Health Program

 (a) There is hereby established the Integrated Youth Mental Health Program.
(b) The objective of this program is to establish, throughout the State of California, centers that provide integrated mental health, substance use, physical health, social support, and other services for youths 12 years of age to 25 years of age, inclusive, and their families. The program is intended to approach youth wellness in an innovative, comprehensive, and youth-friendly way, reaching adolescents and young adults in clinical sites, online, in schools, or other venues.
(c) Subject to an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or any other statute for purposes of this section, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission shall administer the Integrated Youth Mental Health Program. Counties, counties acting jointly, cities, or other local entities, as determined by the commission, are eligible to receive funds from the commission pursuant to this section.
(d) The commission shall establish core components of the program, which may include the following:
(1) Youth-informed design for integrated youth mental health services.
(2) A focus that supports individuals with mental health needs, including mild to moderate mental health issues, anxiety, and depression.
(3) A one-stop site for access to integrated care services, including mental health, physical health, substance use, and educational, vocational, and peer support.
(4) Accessibility, such that the services will be affordable, destigmatizing, appealing to youth, and confidential pursuant to existing state and federal laws.
(5) Staff that includes, but is not limited to, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, substance use treatment counselors, peer and family support, and others.
(6) A focus on vulnerable and marginalized youth including, but not limited to, LGBTQ, homeless, and indigenous youth.
(e) The commission shall develop selection criteria and the process for awarding the funding. At a minimum, the commission may consider the following factors when selecting recipients and determining the amount of grant awards:
(1) Description of need, including potential gaps in local services.
(2) Description of the funding request and how it will be used to facilitate the objectives and anticipated outcomes.
(3) Ability to measure key outcomes, including improved access to mental health services.
(4) Ability to obtain federal Medicaid reimbursement, when applicable.
(5) Ability to provide additional funding support to the project, including public or private funding, grants, foundation support, and other collaborative efforts.
(6) Ability to sustain the project.
(7) Level of community engagement and commitment to the project.
(8) Level of youth involvement in designing and implementing the project.
(9) Geographic areas or regions of the state, including rural, suburban, and urban areas.
(f) Funds awarded by the commission to eligible local entities under this section shall, at the discretion of the commission, be for a period of five years. The commission shall determine the funding level for each program and has discretion to consider the level of need, population to be served, and related criteria, as described in subdivision (d).
(g) Funds awarded by the commission for purposes of this section may be used to supplement, but not supplant, existing financial and resource commitments of a county, counties acting jointly, or a city mental health department that receives a grant under this section.
(h) A reasonable percentage of the total annual funding shall be reserved for the commission to expend on administrative, research and evaluation, and technical assistance costs.
(1) The commission shall develop a strategy for monitoring implementation of the program.
(2) The commission shall develop a strategy for technical assistance, support, and evaluation to support the successful implementation of the objectives of the program.
(i) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission, without taking regulatory action, may implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of informational letters, bulletins, or similar instructions.