California Health and Human Services

Link to California State Web Portal
Link to the California Web State Portal

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 and inquiries, contact


  • Chair
  • State Representatives
  • Task Force Members
  • Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH. Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Dr. Tomas Aragon, Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP, California Surgeon General
  • Stephanie Clendenin, Department of State Hospitals
  • Toby Ewing, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission
  • Brenda Grealish, Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
  • Tom Herman, California Department of Education
  • Kim Johnson, Department of Social Services
  • Will Lightbourne, Department of Health Care Services
  • Kim McCoy Wade, Department of Aging
  • Mary Watanabe, Department of Managed Health Care
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mary June Diaz, SEIU
  • Vitka Eisen, HealthRIGHT 360
  • 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
  • Tom Insel, Steinberg Institute
  • Linnea Koopmans, Local Health Plans of California
  • Kim Lewis, National Health Law Program
  • Elizabeth Oseguera, California Primary Care Association
  • Hector Ramirez, Disability Rights California
  • 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
  • Carolina Valle, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Marie Webber, UCSD Health
  • Jose Zavala, Fresno Unified School District
  • Ashley Zucker, Kaiser Permanente

Meeting Dates

Meetings will be held in Sacramento, California from 10am to 1pm on

  • January 7, 2021 – POSTPONED
  • January 28, 2021
  • March 9, 2021
  • June 8, 2021
  • September 15, 2021 – POSTPONED
  • October 5, 2021
  • December 7, 2021

Meeting Materials


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

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