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Governor Newsom Signs Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Youth Mental Health Services Legislation

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – This month, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation, Assembly Bill 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, was signed into law by Governor Newsom.

“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.

This bill would require stakeholders to include sufficient participation of individuals representing diverse viewpoints, including youth representatives from historically marginalized communities, representatives from organizations specializing in working with underserved racially and ethnically diverse communities, and representatives from LGBTQ+ communities. By requiring counties to consult with additional stakeholders, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

“How we respond to the mental health crisis today, will shape who our society becomes in the future. Our kids need us to drive solutions and this week, with the Governor’s signing, we are well on our way,” said Holden.