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Assemblymember Chris Holden Introduces Youth Mental Health Services Act

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden introduced, AB 289, Youth Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which will include youth or youth mental health organizations in the list of stakeholder counties must confer with when developing their three year expenditure plans under the Mental Health Services Act.

“When we are making decisions for the future generation of Californians, it is critical that their voice and perspectives are heard,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “Listening and providing quality care that is youth informed helps the adults of tomorrow, today.”

Under the MHSA, it falls to our counties to develop their three-year expenditure plans with local stakeholders, including adults and seniors with severe mental illnesses, their families, service providers, and law enforcement among many others. This partnership between counties, constituents, and stakeholders ensures that the expenditure plan is a well-rounded, all-inclusive response to their community’s behavioral health needs.

However, it is not explicitly required that counties confer with youth or youth mental health organizations within their communities. This omits an important voice from the behavioral health conversation, as one in seven people aged 10 to 19 experience mental health conditions worldwide. For many, these conditions extend into adulthood, and a lack of access to supportive resources can limit future opportunities for these adolescents

“Youth voices, and the organizations that support their mental wellbeing, deserve to be heard in this process,” said Holden.