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Newsom announces $4.7B mental health plan for state's youth

Original post made on Aug 21, 2022

The state's Master Plan for Kids' Mental Health lays out proposals to increase access to mental health and substance abuse services, including adding 40,000 new workers in mental health fields, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 21, 2022, 8:31 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 21, 2022 at 11:57 am

William Hitchens is a registered user.

Just where is CA going to find 40,000 additional, experienced and highly qualified workers in children's mental health? Isn't there already a shortage of qualified workers in the mental health industry in general? And can they afford to live here if they're from out of state?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 21, 2022 at 8:34 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

“1.4 billion to build a more diverse healthcare workforce”
What IS this massive expenditure??
I fear money frittered away to special interests in exchange for votes.

Posted by Walter Sobchak
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 22, 2022 at 7:18 am

Walter Sobchak is a registered user.

Newsom’s pandemic lockdown policies significantly contributed to the increased mental anxiety of California’s youth.

“First do no harm” was never in Gavin’s lexicon.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 22, 2022 at 7:20 am

Annette is a registered user.

@William Hitchens: good point about the 40,000 new workers. But I am glad to see Newsom finally spending some of the $100B surplus on the public good. I hope he will direct a sizeable amount of the over-sized surplus towards housing the homeless and feeding the hungry. Surely there's enough to build some shelters or re-purpose some public land and build some small houses. And replenishing food banks. Taking care of basic human needs will likely also have a positive impact on mental health.

Posted by Todd Carter
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 22, 2022 at 8:13 am

Todd Carter is a registered user.

The monetary resources ($4.7B) could be better used towards easing the homelessness problem in California.

Posted by Jacob Zhao
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2022 at 12:06 pm

Jacob Zhao is a registered user.

Mental health issues among teens are being exaggerated.

There are far more mentally ill adults who could benefit from this program.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2022 at 6:28 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Money well spent. Mental health screening in schools help staff identify mental health issues in children.

Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 23, 2022 at 11:16 am

cmarg is a registered user.

Money well spent. If we can get kids/young adults early and help with mental challenges, then there is a very high probability that the problems down the road will be greatly reduced as they move to adulthood . The first mental disorder occurs before age 14 in one-third of individuals, age 18 in almost half (48.4%), and before age 25 in half (62.5%), with a peak/median age at onset of 14.5/18 years across all mental disorders.

Thanks Newsom for helping with this very vulnerable group. And for helping others realize that mental illness is an illness and need not be stigmatized.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

My personal thoughts are that the school system is the biggest factor in mental health issues for youth.

In the lower grades, we are not preparing kids for hard times, learning from mistakes, or seeing that life is not fair. They don't grade tests but put a smiley face on them. When they make a spelling mistake it is ignored rather than pointed out and a correction made. Everyone gets invited to all the parties, everyone gets a trophy, and no record of AYSO or Little League games are made as it isn't the result that's important but just competing. Everyone gets a speaking part in the school play or a solo in the choir concert if they want it.

Suddenly in middle school, it becomes competitive. But they have no skills to know how to deal with it. By the time high school comes along, teachers proudly say they give very few As so classmates become competitors. Wouldn't it be a better sign of a teacher's ability if they were able to teach the whole class to do their best rather than grading on a curve? If someone doesn't make it onto the football team, then they feel a failure, but they have never failed at anything before in their lives.

I think it is particularly bad here when the college acceptances are announced. Those who don't get into Ivy League schools can't cope with the rejection. Parents are just as bad, and some have paid to cheat to get their kids into the best colleges.

Rather than have mental health resources, how about looking to see exactly why our youth are depressed and feel unable to cope with their failures, mistakes and rejections at a younger age and find ways to support them without making everything in high school one big challenge.

Posted by Sam Grich
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 23, 2022 at 1:42 pm

Sam Grich is a registered user.

"The monetary resources ($4.7B) could be better used towards easing the homelessness problem in California."

"There are far more mentally ill adults who could benefit from this program."

^ Adult homelessness and mental illness go hand in hand and I concur with the previous posters.

Without regular medications to alter brain chemistry, most mental illness issues cannot be cured...only regulated.

I have never heard of anyone completely cured from bipolar, schizophrenia, or psychotic symptoms as powerful mind-altering drugs are often required to maintain some degree of mental equilibrium.

Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 24, 2022 at 10:49 am

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

Yes, this funding can help.

But let's not just wait for others to do all the work. We can do a LOT without depending on the professionals. And having dealt with dozens of mental health professionals in this area, I can tell you that there are many volunteers who do a better job than the average professional...

I have spent a lot of time in the mental health space, almost entirely as a volunteer.

One organization I have worked with for years is MentorTutorConnection, which does a wonderful job with high school students in Mountain View / Los Altos schools. I tried to set up a similar mentoring program in Palo Alto (not the tutoring part of it, there are already a ton of options for that) but got no help and finally gave up trying to set up the non-profit. Mentoring is important. And not "helping students write college applications." I'm talking about helping kids "figure out life."

One of the many people who I inspired to follow in my footsteps and work as a Crisis Counselor for CrisisTextLine (if you aren't already familiar with them, check out told me that she understood why I had shifted my focus from working them, to working with Challenge Day ( She said she sees that I was working on "catching them early." If you do not already have ChallengeDay at your local middle/high school, TALK WITH YOUR PTSA and/or school administrators about making it happen ASAP. This program literally saves lives.

For elementary schools, I recommend the free programs offered by SandyHookPromise, such as "Start With Hello," which encourages kids to reach out to other students to build community.

Anything I can help with, please let me know. My life is about keeping people safe, healthy and happy.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Please reach out to me with questions or if you need help.

Posted by Edward Parker
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 24, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Edward Parker is a registered user.

"Wouldn't it be a better sign of a teacher's ability if they were able to teach the whole class to do their best rather than grading on a curve?"

^ The "A for effort" concept would work if schools adopt a Pass/No Pass grading system. Anything C- and over is a 'Pass' while Ds and/or Fs are 'Fail'.

Any student who couldn't earn at least a C- (with some extra credit for 'effort') deserves to fail.

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