California Health and Human Services

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CalHHS Statement

Statement from California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on the Passage of the CARE Act 

“With overwhelming bipartisan support, the CARE Act, authored by Senators Umberg and Eggman and sponsored by Governor Newsom, is now headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.  

CARE delivers mental health and substance use disorder services to the most severely impaired Californians who too often suffer in homelessness or incarceration without treatment. Through a compassionate civil court process, earlier action, support, and accountability is provided to those most in need.  

We must move upstream – too many vulnerable Californians only access critical behavioral health services through the revolving door of hospitalizations or interactions with law enforcement. With advances in treatment models, and the right clinical team and housing, individuals who have suffered, even died, on the streets or while incarcerated can be successfully stabilized and supported in their community. 

CARE provides individuals with clinically appropriate community-based services and supports that are trauma-informed and culturally and linguistically competent, including stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services and housing. 

CARE recognizes that to serve those with the most complex behavioral health conditions, we must do the hard work of prioritizing those who need help the most, providing a comprehensive CARE plan that honors self-determination to the greatest extent possible, and holding ourselves accountable to delivering services and housing that are key to long term stability and recovery.   

Today is significant and would not have been possible with the contributions of the many passionate and thoughtful individuals and organizations we have engaged with over the past many months to help craft this unprecedented and innovative legislation. 

We are committed to keeping CARE person-centered and this will remain our highest priority.  CalHHS will continue to work collaboratively, with a focus on equity, to support the successful implementation of the CARE Act.  

Our agency and our departments will work with the Judicial Council of California and the counties, cities and communities who will implement CARE and deliver a responsive set of services and supports for the individuals served.  We look forward to ongoing engagement with representatives from a wide variety of networks, including peers, disability rights organizations, families, racial equity advocates, housing and homelessness stakeholders, behavioral health providers and associations, and more. The hard work of implementation begins now and I look forward to our continued partnership as we work together to deliver on the promises at the heart of CARE.”