CHA News Article

CHA Helps Launch Statewide Behavioral Health Action Coalition
Calls on candidates to prioritize behavioral health solutions in 2018

As California’s November election campaign begins to take shape, a new coalition of more than 50 non-traditional partners co-founded by CHA has launched a statewide effort to engage candidates and raise awareness about the importance of addressing behavioral health issues in the state.

Known as Behavioral Health Action, the coalition held a kick-off press conference today at the State Capitol; a press release from the event is attached. CHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle was among the speakers at the event, along with Jessica Cruz, CEO of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

“We are united behind a powerful cause. Behavioral health matters because it affects all of us — young, old, rich, poor, white, Latino, African-American, Asian,” Coyle said in her opening remarks. “If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’re often surrounded by teams ready to help. But with a behavioral health diagnosis, we often fall into nothingness, without the resources and help and support that are needed. That has to change.”

Highlighting the importance of addressing mental illness, drug and alcohol disorders, depression, anxiety, personality disorders or other addictive behaviors, the coalition released findings from a new statewide poll showing that 92 percent of likely voters believe it is important for California to address behavioral health.

Behavioral Health Action partners include individuals and families touched by behavioral health issues, along with representatives of education, labor, law enforcement, the court system, local government, business and health care and community providers. In addition to CHA and NAMI California, other key coalition members include Mental Health America of California, the California State Sheriff’s Association, the California State Association of Counties, the California Police Chief’s Association and Service Employees International Union State Council.

Additional campaign launch events will be held in San Francisco on Wednesday, June 20 and in Los Angeles on Friday, July 6. A flyer with more information about the campaign, including a list of coalition members, is attached.