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Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson Introduces Mental Health Bill Package

For immediate release:

Sacramento - Assemblymember Dr. Corey A. Jackson announces the introduction of a mental health bill package aimed at addressing California’s mental health crisis. The bill package, consisting of three separate pieces of legislation, designed to provide essential funding and resources to communities in need, enhance mental health services in schools and across the state.

"California is in a mental health crisis that demands historic action because the well-being of every individual and family is pivotal, and mental health plays a significant role in this," Assemblymember Dr. Corey A. Jackson stated. "With these bills, I aim to stabilize and strengthen our communities and promote a culture of support and collaboration in addressing mental health needs for all Californians."

AB 1451 would require a health care service plan contract or health insurance policy issued, amended, renewed, or delivered on or after January 1, 2024, to provide coverage for treatment of a behavioral health crisis that is identified during an appointment at a contracted facility where an enrollee or insured is receiving treatment from a contracted provider for a medical condition, as specified. The bill would authorize treatment for the behavioral health crisis to be provided at the contracted facility if the facility has the appropriate staff to provide that care. The bill would require the treatment to be provided without preauthorization and would authorize the provider or facility to use same-day billing to obtain reimbursement for both the medical and behavioral health services provided to the enrollee or insured.

AB 1450 would require all schools to conduct universal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) screenings or mental health assessments, as well as dyslexia screenings. Schools will also be required to have a full-time mental health clinician and case manager available to provide support and resources to students. This bill allows for any source of state funding to be used to achieve these goals, ensuring that every student has access to the resources they need to succeed academically and emotionally.

AB 657 proposes a tax of $0.05 on the distribution of candy in California. The revenues generated from this tax would be allocated to the Mental Health Services Fund, which supports various mental health programs and activities designated by the Children's Mental Health Services Act. The aim of the Act is to contribute to the improvement of the state's mental health care system by creating a continuous funding stream.

The introduction of this mental health bill package has the potential to bring about a transformative change in the way we approach and address mental health, improving access to care and promoting wellness.