This bill would establish statewide objectives for the treatment and prevention of mental illness and metrics by which progress toward those objectives may be measured.
AAP Positional Letter
May 24, 2018
Senator Richard Pan
State Capitol, Room 5114
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 1101 (Pan): Mental Health
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Senator Pan,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians statewide, supports your proposed legislation SB 1101 to establish statewide objectives for the treatment and prevention of mental illness and metrics by which progress toward those objectives may be measured.
Children’s mental health is an intrinsic part of their overall health and well-being. At least one in 10 children—as many as 6 million youth—experience a mental illness that disrupts daily functioning. Another 16% of children have symptoms that do not rise to the level of a diagnosis but have functional impairment, and 9% have a mental health diagnosis without current impairment. Fewer than 20% of these children receive mental health services in any given year due to numerous barriers, including mental health professional shortages (AAP Strategies for System Change in Children’s Mental Health).
Mental Health programs in California are funded through a collection of sources including revenue from Medicaid, Medi-Cal, and the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission oversees the administration of various parts of the act, but there are no statewide standards. Spending and implementation of programs varies widely from county to county. A recent report by the California State Auditor (CSA) recommended development of statewide outcome metrics.
SB 1101 would provide guidance for counties by creating statewide objectives and metrics to measure progress toward those objectives as well as reporting expectations so progress can be evaluated. SB 1101 would provide statewide leadership and guidance to ensure the strategic and consistent use of funds so children get the best care possible no matter where they live in California.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support proposed legislation SB 1101. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne