California Health and Human Services

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Behavioral Health Task Force


The California Health & Human Services Agency announced the formation of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Behavioral Health Task Force to address the urgent mental health and substance use disorder needs across California. The panel will advise the Administration’s efforts to advance statewide behavioral health services, prevention, and early intervention to stabilize conditions before they become severe. The mission of the task force is to develop recommendations for the Governor about how California can provide timely access to high-quality behavioral health care for all of its residents. 

To learn more, view the Behavioral Health Task Force press release.

For questions, inquiries, or to join the task force listserv, contact


  • Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH. Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Dr. Tomas Aragon, Department of Public Health
  • Michelle Baass, Department of Health Care Services
  • Nancy Bargman, Department of Developmental Services
  • Stephanie Clendenin, Department of State Hospitals
  • Susan DeMarois, Department of Aging
  • Toby Ewing, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission
  • Brenda Grealish, Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
  • Kim Johnson, Department of Social Services
  • Elizabeth Landsberg, Department of Health Care Access and Information
  • Katherine Lucero, Office of Youth and Community Restoration
  • Dr. Diana Ramos, California Surgeon General
  • Melissa Stafford-Jones, Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative 
  • Tony Thurmond, California Department of Education
  • Mary Watanabe, Department of Managed Health Care
  • Joe Xavier, Department of Rehabilitation
  • Sonya Aadam, California Black Women's Health Project
  • Lenore Anderson, Californians for Safety and Justice
  • Seciah Aquino, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
  • Sarah Arnquist, Beacon Health Options
  • Charles Bacchi, California Association of Health Plans
  • Ken Berrick, Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Michelle Cabrera, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Le Ondra Clark Harvey, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
  • Carmela Coyle, California Hospital Association
  • Jessica Cruz, NAMI California
  • Matthew Diep, Mental Health America of California
  • Vitka Eisen, HealthRIGHT 360
  • Laila Fahimuddin, California Board of Education
  • Lishaun Francis, Children Now
  • Virginia Hedrick, California Consortium for Urban Indian Health
  • Tanja Heitman, Santa Barbara County Probation Department
  • Emma Hoo, Pacific Business Group on Health
  • Andrew Imparato, Disability Rights California
  • Genie Kim, Graduate, Undergraduate Equity Affairs University of California Office of the President
  • Linnea Koopmans, Local Health Plans of California
  • Karen Larsen, Steinberg Institute
  • Kim Lewis, National Health Law Program
  • Christine Olmstead, Orange County Department of Education
  • Elizabeth Oseguera, California Primary Care Association
  • Hector Ramirez, Disability Rights California
  • Rebecca Ruan-O’Shaughnessy, California Community Colleges
  • Cathy Senderling-McDonald, CWDA
  • Albert Senella, Tarzana Treatment Centers
  • Christine Stoner-Mertz, California Alliance of Child and Family Services
  • Mandy Taylor, California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network
  • Toni Trigueiro, California Teachers Association
  • An Chi Tsou, SEIU
  • Carolina Valle, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Marie Webber, UCSD Health
  • Jackie Wong, First 5 California
  • Jose Zavala, Fresno Unified School District
  • Ashley Zucker, Kaiser Permanente

2022 Meeting Dates

All meetings will be held via Zoom webinar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register Here

  • December 13, 2022
  • September 13, 2022
  • June 14, 2022
  • March 8, 2022

2023 Meeting Dates

All meetings will be held via Zoom webinar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register here

    • March 14th
    • June 13th
    • September 12th
    • December 12th

Meeting Materials


December 13, 2022, 10pm – 3pm

December 2, 2022, 12:00 pm – 12:55 pm

September 13, 2022, 10am-3pm

December 7, 2021

October 5, 2021

To view a recording of the meeting, visit Zoom and manually enter the following passcode: t19VehZ% 

June 8, 2021

Information Regarding the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

Additional Meeting Materials

March 9, 2021

January 28, 2021

An audio replay of the meeting is available:

  • Number: 866-207-1041
  • Access code: 5789033

August 25, 2020

March 4, 2020


The CARE Act creates a new pathway to deliver mental health and substance use disorder services to the most severely impaired Californians who too often suffer in homelessness or incarceration without treatment. The CARE Act moves care and support upstream, providing the most vulnerable Californians with access to critical behavioral health services, housing and support.

To learn more, visit the CARE Act webpage.

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