HOMELESSNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH—A look at the most recent California legislation gives us some hope.

Senate Bill 855 In late September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 855, a bill authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener and sponsored by the Kennedy Forum and the Steinberg Institute.

Starting in January 2021, the new law will require commercial health insurers to adopt uniform standards of care developed by nonprofit clinical associations and pay for medically necessary treatment of any mental health or substance use disorder listed in current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The new law was specifically designed to bolster the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (also known as the federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.

AB 1976 A week ago the Governor also signed AB 1976, which amends a the bill knows as Laura’s law. The original 2002 law authorized counties to start programs to provide intensive assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) to people suffering from severe mental illness and enabled judges to order treatment for those who declined to accept offered services.

AB 1976 makes Laura's Law applicable throughout California as of July 2021 unless a county's supervisors "opt out" and give their reasons. In other words, it requires all counties to implement the program unless they formally and with reasons opt out. It also allows judges authorized referrers to the program when patients refuse them and it eliminates the 5-year

State Grants. A small minority of homeless people are so severely debilitated — and are spiraling toward death — that they aren’t capable of accepting voluntary mental health and addiction services. For this limited group of people, extra intervention is needed. AB 1976 is most welcomed answer to this problem.

State Grants In September 2020, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development awarded $17.3

million in grants to seven programs to help further build the pipeline of public mental health professionals in California. Collectively, the grantees will add 36 Psychiatry Residency slots and fund 336 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner slots.

MB SAFE stands for Manhattan Beach - Safe Alternatives for Everyone. We seek to maximize community involvement and support for compassionate solutions for homeless people in our area, as well as for the personal safety and protection of the entire community.


F: 310-570-3695

E: MBSAFE@outlook.com

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

© 2020 by MB SAFE. Created with Wix.com

Copyright. All designs, text, graphics, pictures and arrangement on this website are the copyright of the MBSAFE or its content providers. Any commercial use of materials on this site without MBSAFE prior written consent is strictly prohibited. All images, audio and video clips are the sole property of MBSAFE or its content providers. 

All software used on the site is the sole property of MBSAFE or those supplying the software. You acknowledge that the site contains content and software that are protected by copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights, and that these rights are valid and maybe protected in all forms, media and technologies which exist now or are developed in the future. Any unauthorized use of the materials appearing on this site may violate copyright, trademark and other applicable laws and could result in criminal or civil penalties. 

Accuracy of Information. We attempt to ensure that information on this website is complete and accurate; however, this information may contain typographical errors, or other errors or inaccuracies. We assume no responsibility for such errors and omissions and reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and to make changes to any information on this website.