AB 2161 (Arambula) Early Psychosis Intervention Plus Program – Support

May 31, 2024

The Honorable Joaquin Arambula
California State Assembly
1021 O Street, Suite 6130
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Support for AB 2161 (Arambula)

Dear Assemblymember Arambula, 

Mental Health America of California (MHAC) is pleased to support Assembly Bill 2161, legislation which would require the Behavioral Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and the State Department of Health Care Services to create a strategic plan to achieve specific goals, including improving the understanding of psychosis. Additionally, it would seek to partner with the University of California to develop a plan to establish the Center for Mental Health Wellness and Innovations to promote the widespread availability of evidence-based practices to improve behavioral health services.

MHAC is a peer-run organization leading the state in behavioral health public policy and advocacy since 1957. The mission of MHAC is to assist and encourage communities, families and individuals to experience hope, wellness and recovery from mental health and substance use disorder issues through voluntary services that are delivered in their local community with compassion and respect for everyone’s dignity and autonomy.  We are proud to support early psychosis and mood disorder detection, enabling the state to invest in voluntary services and support before crises arise.

Early interventions can lead to significant long-term health benefits. Upstream preventative services have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the need for inpatient care, allowing individuals to remain in their local communities, closer to home. Furthermore, providing resources and services as early as possible helps support children and youth development to better manage their mental health challenges leading to more productive and full lives.

For these reasons we support AB 2161 (Arambula). If you have any questions, or if MHAC can provide any assistance on this bill or any other behavioral health legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me or our Public Policy Director, Karen Vicari, at kvicari@mhaofca.org.      

In Community, 

Heidi L. Strunk 
President & CEO