Briefing — An Introduction to California’s Public Mental Health System

Past Event
Monday, September 23, 2019
12:00-1:45 PM (PT)
Sacramento Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street, Sacramento, CA

About This Event

Over a million Californians receive services each year through California’s public mental health system, which includes services organized and provided through counties, Medi-Cal managed care plans, community-based organizations, schools, jails, and other entities. The state’s mental health system has a long history, multiple financing streams, and a complicated delivery system.

Increased numbers of people served through Medi-Cal since the expansion of the program in 2014, higher incidence of illness in some geographic areas and populations, and the crisis of homelessness in the state are all drawing attention to the public mental health system. It’s important to understand how the system works.

At this CHCF briefing on September 23, participants learned about the structure and financing of the system, how state and county responsibilities have shifted and grown under the Affordable Care Act, and how the current system and options for the future look from the perspectives of the state, the counties, and more.

A video of the briefing is available below. Speakers included:

  • Jennifer Kent, MPA, Director, California Department of Health Care Services
  • Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto, MPH, Health Policy Analyst, California Budget and Policy Center
  • Michelle Cabrera, Executive Director, California Behavioral Health Directors Association
  • Sarah Arnquist, MPH, Vice President of Client Partnerships, Beacon Health Options
  • Catherine Teare, MPP, Associate Director of High-Value Care, CHCF



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