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Before the pandemic and recession, California was already struggling with a mental health system widely considered to be dysfunctional. Gov. Gavin Newsom promised “an aggressive agenda to lift California’s approach to mental healthcare into a national model.” What have the pandemic and recession done to this issue and these plans? What are the mental health impacts of the virus and how is a struggling government system, now facing budget cuts, responding?

This event took place on Tuesday, July 21.

To view a resource guide from this event, please click here.

Moderator: Jocelyn Wiener, CalMatters health care reporter

Welcome by Sandra R. Hernández, MD, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation


  • Dr. Rhea Boyd, pediatrician practicing at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and public health advocate
  • John Connolly, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health, California Health and Human Services Agency
  • CW Johnson, outreach coordinator at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco
  • Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

This PolicyMatters event is underwritten by the California Health Care Foundation.

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Vanessa is a former business journalist who has covered personal investing, venture capital, startups and business management for publications like Entrepreneur, Money, the San Francisco Business Times...