Governor Signs Waldron Bill to Strengthen Local Mental Health Boards

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron of Escondido announced her bill to improve California’s community mental health system, Assembly Bill 1352, was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom recently. Local mental health boards can better support patients by voicing concerns about county decisions and independently evaluating their community’s mental health needs, services and facilities, she said.

“California has a behavioral health crisis,” Waldron said. “Across the state’s 58 counties, there are 58 different mental health delivery systems with no statewide best practices and no voice in the decisions of local government.

“This bill will elevate the voices of patients and family members, who make up at least half of the local boards. I applaud the governor for recognizing how important it is to give family members, patients and the community a strong voice in California’s mental health system.”

To ensure each county is delivering quality mental health services, AB 1352 defines the role of local mental health boards and encourages a collaborative relationship with county behavioral health departments. The bill will ensure the independence of local mental health boards, clarifies their responsibilities and gives the community a voice in local decisions about mental health.