California’s investments in mental health will alleviate homelessness – San Bernardino Sun | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors
As the return from the pandemic continues, we cannot be satisfied with the status quo. Now is the time to tackle some of the state’s most pressing challenges, including the housing and health needs of more than 161,000 homeless people in California.
Homelessness is a complex challenge and requires a large investment in housing and support services. A responsive medical system is also needed, as behavioral health can contribute to or worsen the homeless. Governor Gavin Newsom’s $ 12 billion investment in eradicating the homeless will bring about 65,000 homes and more than 300,000 home stability. Equally important, the governor’s plan goes far beyond that, expanding the capabilities of the behavioral health system to ensure an accessible and model of care to meet the people who live in it.
The Governor’s California Comeback Plan is based on two innovative programs that have provided 42,000 Californians with shelter from COVID-19 and created 6,000 affordable housing units. Within a year, Projects Roomkey and Homekey have become a national model, doing more to address the homeless and affordable housing crisis than has ever been done in California. ..
But our efforts must continue. To ensure the stability of everyone’s homes, we need to expand the capacity of physical stores for behavioral medical services. The proposed $ 2.45 billion Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Infrastructure Program does just that through competitive grants to acquire and rehabilitate assets. This will create approximately 15,000 new beds, units, rooms and outpatient treatment slots for both housing and treatment of adolescents, adults with disabilities, the elderly, and people with severe behavioral health. These community-based services provide critical care to reduce homelessness, imprisonment and unnecessary hospitalization, benefiting both the individual receiving the service and our society itself.
The Continuum of Care has more than $ 4.4 billion in behavioral health for children and adolescents, $ 1 billion in facilities for adult and elderly care, and much more. The service addresses a wide range of complex issues that affect mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance use disorders, stress, trauma, sadness, and anxiety.
Finally, the Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative for extensive California progress and innovation plays a key role in addressing the California homeless crisis. CalAIM reforms healthcare delivery to serve the entire population. This includes helping you find a home and pay for it, manage cases to maintain your home, and coordinate care to support your continued connection to treatment and care.
Californians can be confident that treating the causes and effects of both mental illness and the homeless is a top priority for Governor Newsom’s administration and will continue to do so. We are committed to coordinated, patient-centric, comprehensive care. It is a holistic system that integrates the entire range of housing, health care, behavioral health, and other social services. Investing in the above important behavioral health care is key.
Will Lightbourne is Director of the California Department of Health Services.Kim Johnson is Director of the California Social Welfare Department
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