An estimated 7.5 million people in California experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but only one-third of adults who experience mental illness are getting treatment. The caregivers at hospitals know the obstacles people with behavioral health conditions face and the challenges in getting them the treatment they need.
While hospitals embrace the essential role they play in addressing this crisis, more needs to be done. Investments are needed to tackle a crisis made even worse by COVID-19. California must prioritize behavioral health investments in prevention, early assessment, identification of needs, and aggressive treatment for all, regardless of health coverage or ZIP code.
In addition, solutions like payment reform, resource allocation, more outpatient and community-based services, a bolstered behavioral health workforce, and a statewide set of standardized core services will help Californians with behavioral health conditions access the care they deserve.
This point-in-time analysis was conducted in 2017-2018 to gain a deeper understanding of the behavioral health challenges faced by San Diego patients. Issues examined included pre-acute, acute, and post-acute services and the impact of social determinants of health on access and outcomes. Ultimately, the findings are intended to support further research efforts and to promote collaboration between San Diego County Behavioral Health Services and other community organizations providing behavioral health services in San Diego.