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Ending the Cycle of Trauma: How Prosecuting Youth as Adults Worsens Mental Health Challenges Among Young People and What We Can Do About It

“The system raised me, and the system failed me,” said Raymond Aguilar at a recent press conference, announcing the publication of a new report highlighting the public health outcomes of trying youth as adults.  Mr. Aguilar, a youth advocate, was prosecuted as an adult during his mid-teen years; he spent 26 years in prison. [...]

Wellness Starts with Our Youth: A Series on Bay Area Youth Leading Change in Mental Health

“Wellness” is a term you hear often in Silicon Valley. But what does it really mean? To some families, wellness revolves around externally gratifying accomplishments – a child is doing well if he or she is earning straight As, participating in resume-bolstering extracurricular activities, and getting into the most prestigious universities. From parents to [...]

By | 2017-04-10T23:07:43+00:00 February 9th, 2017|California, Community Voices, Featured Posts|0 Comments

Governor Signs AB 1299: “Out-of-County” Will No Longer Mean “Out-of-Luck” for Foster Youth with Mental Health Needs

On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1299 (Ridley-Thomas), “Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services for Foster Youth,” into law. This represents a significant turning point in the delivery of mental health services to foster youth in California: “out-of-county” will no longer mean “out-of-luck.” The passage of AB 1299 also demonstrates what’s possible when advocates, providers, [...]

Bill to Provide Equal Access to Mental Healthcare for Foster Youth Heads to the Governor’s Desk With Virtually Unanimous Support

On Monday, Assembly Bill 1299 (Ridley-Scott), “Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services for Foster Youth,” passed the California State Assembly and is now on its way to the Governor’s Desk. This marks a turning point in a nearly 20 year effort to ensure all foster youth have equal access to mental healthcare. Foster youth are three [...]

California Prepares for Implementation of New Intensive Medi-Cal Mental Health Treatment

Statewide Rollout of Therapeutic Foster Care Will Complete the Third and Final Service Component of the Longstanding Katie A. Reform Lawsuit California took its first step towards implementing a new intensive community-based mental health service for children and youth with serious mental health needs. Earlier this month, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) [...]

By | 2016-11-17T17:25:52+00:00 July 19th, 2016|California, Foster Youth, Katie A., Policy Action|0 Comments

Rebellious Communication and Radical Vulnerability: The new wave of mental health advocacy

If you want to understand us, listen to what we are not allowed to say. This mantra on “rebellious”(()) communication, inspired by Filipino political prisoners decrying their country’s martial law in the 1970s, can resonate in any instance where one’s voice is taken away or limited. Those living with mental illness or working in mental [...]

Expanding Opportunity: An Estimated 23,000 Medi-Cal Youth Could Be Newly Eligible for Critical Mental Healthcare

In February, in response to advocacy by Young Minds, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced a landmark policy shift that made thousands of young people with mental health needs in California newly eligible for community-based mental healthcare. Young Minds Advocacy has analyzed the shift and estimates that more than twenty-three thousand youth, with [...]