SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Tuesday, Assemblymember Rudy Salas brought forth a bill to improve the mental health services for seniors, co-occurring disorders and doctor shortages.
"One in five older adults experience mental health issues, but less than one-third of all older adults who need mental health care receive it," said Assemblymember Salas. "Suicide rates for older adults are drastically increasing, AB 480 would help ensure that older adults receive the care they need."
Yesterday, Assembly Bills (AB) 480, 1058 and 1759, authored by Salas, passed out of the Assembly Committee on Health with bi-partisan support.
AB 480 would establish an Older Adult Mental Health Services Administrator to oversee mental health services for older adults,establish outcome indicators, integrate care, and standardize geriatrics training for mental health professionals.
AB 1058 would establish a stakeholder process to develop and identify administrative and legal barriers to the delivery ofintegrated treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health conditions.
The third bill, AB1759, which Assemblymember Salas successfully passed out of committee, will increase the healthcareworkforce in underserved communities by increasing primary care physician residencies, expanding loan repayment programs,and improving outreach to low-income and underrepresented communities for students to enter health careers.