Governor Newsom Announces an Unprecedented $480.5 Million in Grants for Youth Mental Health

Grants will support 54 projects throughout the state to bolster California’s behavioral and mental health infrastructure, expanding the capacity of treatment facilities that serve young Californians

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today announced $480.5 million in awards for 54 projects to improve California’s behavioral health infrastructure for children and youth. As part of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, this historic investment provides grant funding to construct new facilities and expand existing facilities that help children, youth, transition-age youth, and perinatal individuals with a mental health and/or substance use disorder.

California’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health

“We’re overhauling our mental health system to connect young Californians with the care and support they need,” said Governor Newsom. “Too many Californians are struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. This funding will support critical mental health and substance use disorder treatment facilities that have committed to serving the diverse range of children and youth covered by Medi-Cal.”

These projects will increase care, especially in the least restrictive, community-based settings, with community wellness/youth prevention centers, outpatient treatment for substance use disorders, school-linked health centers, and outpatient community mental health clinics. Projects include:

  • $57.4 Million for a Psychiatric Acute Care Hospital. In Los Angeles, the Kedren South Psychiatric Acute Care Hospital & Children’s Village will receive funding for a psychiatric acute care hospital with 36 beds.
  • $27.6 Million to Treat Substance Use Disorder, Boost Slots in Orange County. The Orange County Health Care Agency will expand adolescent residential treatment facilities for youth suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) with 32 beds, perinatal residential SUD with 24 beds, and community mental health clinic outpatient with 2,626 slots.
  • $9.3 million to Fund an Adult Residential Treatment Facility in Watsonville. The facility will assist Californians suffering from SUD, with seven beds and Outpatient Treatment for SUD with 106 slots.
  • $7.9 million to fund a Community Mental Health Outpatient Clinic in Hoopa. Managed by the Yurok Youth Center, the grant funds 300 slots in the clinic, a community wellness/youth prevention center with 1,450 slots, outpatient treatment for SUD with 27 slots, and a school-linked health center with 50 slots.

“With significant and innovative state and federal investments in homelessness, health care delivery reform, and the social safety net, California is addressing historic gaps to meet the growing demand of services and supports for children and youth across the state,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency.

Additional information on this round of awardees is available on the BHCIP Data Dashboard.

“These investments offer a unique opportunity to expand new capacity and address the needs assessment gaps within California’s behavioral health continuum,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “With these grants we significantly increased outpatient capacity related to mental health and substance use disorder services for children and youth. Successful treatments for children and youth experiencing mental health and substance use disorders are evident in outpatient settings that integrate family support. These investments align with other state efforts around integration, such as California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal and the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative.”

In California, the rates of serious mental illness and substance use disorders are highest for individuals ages 18 to 25, and rates of children and youth experiencing behavioral health conditions, youth emergency department visits for mental health concerns, and youth suicides continue to rise. Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of diagnosable mental illnesses begin by age 14, three-fourths begin by age 24, and most substance use begins in adolescence, emphasizing the need to strengthen prevention and early identification and intervention services. Also, in California, 13 percent of children 3-17 years of age reported having at least one mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral health problem, and 8 percent of children have a serious emotional disturbance that limits participation in daily activity.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is releasing $2.1 billion through six grant rounds targeting various gaps in the state’s behavioral health facility infrastructure:

  • Round 1: Crisis Care Mobile Units;
  • Round 2: County and Tribal Planning Grant;
  • Round 3: Launch Ready, totaling $739.5 million, were awarded in 2021 and earlier this year;
  • Round 4: Children and Youth grants include cities, counties, Tribal entities, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations statewide that serve target populations;
  • Round 5: Crisis and Behavioral Health Continuum Request for Application for $480 million was released on October 20, and awards will be made in spring 2023. This round of funding will continue to expand behavioral health service capacity across the state;
  • Round 6: Outstanding Needs Remaining After Rounds 3 Through 5.

For more information about these grants, as well as other BHCIP rounds of funding, please visit the Improving California’s Infrastructure website.