CSAC Regional Meeting Focuses on Challenges in Behavioral Health
Sept. 27, 2018
More than 65 California County leaders gathered in Napa County today for CSAC’s Regional Meeting focused on the evolution of behavioral health in our communities and the county role in the change process. The meeting brought together county supervisors, county administrators, behavioral health directors, and corporate partners to discuss the myriad challenges related to providing behavioral health care across the state.
Now more than ever, behavioral health is at the core of every social issue in our communities. Homelessness, criminal justice, substance abuse, and disaster response all require a nimble and resourced behavioral health system, as well as the most critical ingredient: collaboration. Counties are identifying gaps in the system and the critical need to integrate services and develop a system that treats the whole patient.
“Behavioral health is at the center of nearly every major policy issue we are facing,” said CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus. “There is a great need — and opportunity – for California’s counties to adapt behavioral health into a collaborative and effective system that meets the needs of each community. CSAC will continue to be a driving force for this evolution.”
Today’s CSAC Regional Meeting featured a number of panel discussions examining challenges and opportunities surrounding behavioral health. Issues covered included counties’ efforts to braid together disparate funding streams, the benefits of working with a more integrated model across county departments, and the role of behavioral health services during a crisis such as wildfires and other natural disasters that threaten California.
Attendees included supervisors and representatives from California counties that are working to develop innovative approaches to behavioral health issues, including Lake, Yolo, Sonoma, Butte, Merced, Napa, Yuba, San Joaquin, Alameda, Mono, Solano, Orange, Colusa, Mendocino and Humboldt.
“By meeting today, we are embarking on an effort to lead the way to ensure that our residents and employees get the help they need, whether it’s during a disaster or on a typical day,” said CSAC First Vice President and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass.
CSAC will continue to convene counties and behavioral health leaders on these issues, including data sharing and collection, innovative solutions, and scaling up services in both urban and rural areas. Counties are working on these issues to better meet the needs of patients and support the critical role that counties play in behavioral health.