California has a population of approximately 38.8 million people, making it the most populated state in the nation. Close to 3.6% of adults in California (according to SAMHSA) live with serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression.
Public mental health services in California are administered and provided by the California Department of Health Care Services–Mental Health Services Division (MHSD). Substance use and addiction treatment services are overseen by Substance Use Disorder Services (SUD).
Only 36.9% of adults with mental illness in California receive any form of treatment from either the public system or private providers (according to SAMHSA). The remaining 63.1% receive no mental health treatment. According to Mental Health America, California is ranked 19 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. for providing access to mental health services.
Medicaid is a combined state and federal program that provides health coverage to people with low income, including those who are unable to work because of a mental health disability. Residents of California can apply for Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) through the California Health Marketplace.
Other California Resources
California Department of Health Care Services–Mental Health Services Division (MHSD)
California Department of Health Care Services–Substance Use Disorder Services (SUD)
California 211 – 2-1-1 is a free referral and information helpline that connects people to a wide range of health and human services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To contact 2-1-1 in any state, including California, simply dial the numbers 2-1-1 from any phone.
National Alliance on Mental Illness–California – The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a nationwide advocacy group, representing families and people affected by mental health disorders in the United States. The national organization is organized into state and local affiliates, of which NAMI–California is one.
For weekly mental health and wellness articles, subscribe to our e-newsletter.