Reimagining California’s Approach to Children’s Behavioral Health

An initiative to achieve health equity and healthy development for California’s children, youth, and families

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Our Vision

All children in California receive the support they need for healthy development and social and emotional well-being.

We Need a Better Approach

Consider the Numbers

of children with Medi‑Cal receive a behavioral health service
of youth in California who report needing mental health support actually receive it
is California’s ranking in providing behavioral, social and developmental screenings, which are key to identifying early signs of challenges
of youth involved in California’s juvenile justice system have unmet behavioral health needs and youth of color are over‑represented

The Crisis is Real

increase in inpatient visits for suicide, suicidal ideation and self injury for ages 1‑17
increase in mental health hospital days for children
increase in the rate of self‑reported mental health needs

Spotlight on Change

California is at a historic intersection of unprecedented new resources for children’s mental and behavioral health, and we have an opportunity to insist on equity in who receives, provides, and is paid for delivering children’s mental health services.

The pace of reform promises to be fast. Watch this space for updates on advocacy and analysis that are advancing a re-imagined mental and behavioral health system for California’s children.

See the History & Impact timeline for a snapshot of our key milestones.

Our Framework for Solutions

The Trust’s Framework for Solutions simplifies the immense complexity of reinventing California’s approach to children’s healthy development, by focusing on three core strategies: 1) maximize funding; 2) expand access and participation; and 3) reinvent systems.

These three strategies are centered on Equity + Justice, recognizing that if we don’t address root causes, including structural and systemic racism, we cannot achieve, sustain nor scale our vision of health equity and healthy development for California’s children, youth, and families.

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