California Senate Mental Health Caucus names new chairman

California Senate Mental Health Caucus names new chairman
Scott Wiener

The California Senate Mental Health Caucus recently named state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) as chairman.

The caucus focuses on mental health and substance use disorder care and improving resources.

“Mental health and substance use disorder are two of the biggest crises of our times, and we must do everything in our power to destigmatize and increase treatment options for mental illness and addiction,” Wiener said. “COVID-19 has been a challenging time for everyone’s mental health, and we are sadly seeing increases in depression, anxiety, suicide, substance use, and overdoses. We need to act now, which is why I’ll continue fighting to pass badly-needed legislation that addresses these crises.”

In his role as chairman, Wiener will focus on implementing harm-reduction measures and destigmatizing and increasing treatment options for mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Wiener has introduced three bills focused on mental health and substance use disorder: Overdose Prevention Programs, the Recovery Incentives Act, and Timely Mental Health Care.

California Marriage and Family Therapist also recently named Wiener Legislator of the Year for Senate Bill 855. The bill guarantees insurance companies and health plans cover medically necessary mental health and substance use disorder treatments. It was signed into law on Jan. 1.

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