In a press release Thursday, August 19 Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan to improve mental health services for students up to the age of 25.
It's being called the 'Master Plan for Kid's Mental Health' and it's planning to invest $4.7 billion to improve mental health and substance abuse services.
The effort comes as kids are reporting mental health related distress at record high levels. A release by Gov. Newsom's office says one in ten children between the ages of 12 and 17 have suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the last year.
Students are still facing difficulties while coming out the pandemic and transitioning to in person learning, from dealing with isolation to facing financial difficulties at home. These issues and many more are taking a toll on students.
One of the main goals of the 'Master Plan for Kid's Mental Health' is to make it easier for schools to provide prevention and treatment.
"What we are doing is approaching this very differently in a way that all of the academics said we should have been doing all along, and that is focusing less on crisis care and more on interventions. We say in this report, we don't punish it later, treat brain health early, so you don't punish it later. Humanizing, not criminalizing this issue," says Gov. Newsom.
The funding will be spread across multiple resources. It's focusing on these three pillars: Healthy Minds for California Kids, Rebuilding California's mental health systems, and developing a mental health workforce. That includes hiring 40,000 new mental health professionals.
Some resources like the children's mental health resource hub are already available for children and their families.
You can read the entire release by Gov. Newsom's office here.