Mental & Behavioral Health

About this policy priority area...

Having Our Say continues to prioritize and advocate for holistic approaches to care that include accurately addressing the diverse mental and behavioral health needs of communities of color. In a moment when stark pre-existing disparities have intensified, we support a focus on community-informed and culturally competent solutions.

Our coaltion supports these policy solutions in 2021.

Improve Accountability for Cultural Competency in Local Behavioral Health

Although all local behavioral health departments are required to submit periodic cultural competency plans for their counties, many continue to fall short of those intentions and the goal to provide culturally appropriate readily accessible care. In 2019, HOS supported AB 512 (Ting) which would have improved county accountability through the development of statewide standards to ensure that equity and cultural competence are in performance measures that are going to be used to evaluate county level mental health care services. The coalition will continue to engage in administrative efforts to improve accountability for cultural competency in local behavioral health and supports the now 2-year CPEHN sponsored bill AB 686 (Arambula).

Increase Support for Hate Crime Victims

HOS supports creating funding to support trusted community based organizations working to directly address recent trends in violence directed at API communities. We applaud the incorporation of the historic $100MM API Equity Budget in the State FY 2021-2022 budget and continue to support the Korean Community Center of the East Bay (KCCEB), Asian Americans Advancing Justice LA (AAAJ-LA) sponsored AB 866 (Chiu) which is now a 2-year bill.  Establishing direct to CBO funding will support victims of hate crimes seeking mental health services, restorative justice programs, and related methods of recovery from trusted organizations.

Establish a Mobile Crisis Support Team/988 Hotline

As marginalized communities face various ongoing crises, the impact on mental health continues to grow and has shifted attention to many documented incidents of police involved fatalities resulting from persons in a mental health crisis calling 911 for aid. Having Our Say supports the Miles Hall Lifeline Act proposed by the Multi-Ethnic Collaborative Community of Agencies (MECCA) sponsored bill AB 988 (Bauer-Kahan). This would establish an easily accessible hotline solely dedicated to mobile crisis support, significantly decreases the risk of these incidents and increases emergency access to mental health crisis care when needed.




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