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Gov. Newsom Announces $5 Billion Plan To Expand Mental Health Services For Young Californians

California Governor Newsom stands with his hands spread wearing a dark blue suit, light blue shit, purple tie in front of a series of children's paintings
Gov. Newsom speaks during a news conference after meeting with students at James Denman Middle School on Oct. 1 2021.
(Justin Sullivan
/
Getty Images)
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On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a nearly $5-billion plan to increase accessibility to mental health services for young Californians.

Late last year, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a public health advisory to address the growing mental health crisis among young people nationwide.

“Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade,” read Murthy’s advisory. “The future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.

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Newsom’s plan will prioritize mental health screening and preventative care for people up to the age of 25.

People like Aliyah Barajas, a student at McClane High School in Fresno. She said she first self-harmed at age 10 after experiencing symptoms of depression.

“I know I’m not the first, the last or the only 10-year-old girl who had to go through that,” said Barajas.

The funds will also be used to attract 40,000 new school mental health workers and incentivize more people to join the field statewide.

What questions do you have about mental health in SoCal?
One of my goals on the mental health beat is to make the seemingly intractable mental health care system more navigable.