CHA News Article

New Report Provides Overview of Mental Health in California

The California HealthCare Foundation has released a new report providing an overview of mental health in California, including disease prevalence, suicide rates, supply and use of treatment providers, and mental health in the correctional system. Data also address quality of care and mental health care spending. Key findings include:

  • The prevalence of serious mental illness varied by income, with much higher rates of mental illness at lower income levels for both children and adults.
  • Compared to the U.S., California had a lower rate of suicide, although it varied considerably within the state by gender, age, race/ethnicity and region.
  • About two-thirds of adults with a mental illness and two-thirds of adolescents with major depressive episodes did not get treatment.
  • Medi-Cal pays for a significant portion of mental health treatment in California. The number of adults receiving specialty mental health services through Medi-Cal has increased by nearly 50 percent from 2012 to 2015, coinciding with expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility.
  • The supply of acute psychiatric beds may have stabilized after a long period of decline. However, emergency department visits resulting in an inpatient psychiatric admission increased by 30 percent between 2010 and 2015. More robust community services might decrease emergency department use.
  • In 2015, 38 percent of female prison inmates and 23 percent of the male prison population received mental health treatment while incarcerated.