Historically, insurance companies and health care services plans have not provided equal coverage between physical health and mental health and substance abuse disorders. For people needing mental health treatment, there are fewer services, more restrictions on those services, and greater costs, both monetarily and for mental health wellness and recovery. Federal and state laws require insurance companies to provide mental health and substance use abuse benefits at the same level as physical health benefits. Few people are aware of these laws or how to advocate for equal coverage, and as a result do not get what they need.
Through funding from CalMHSA’s Stigma and Discrimination Reduction (SDR) Project, Disability Rights California trains on mental health parity laws and equips participants with tools and strategies to advocate for mental health and substance use abuse care. We can discuss individual mental health parity issues, provide counsel and advice, provide help filing complaints and in select cases raising systemic issues provide direct representation.
If you are interested in learning more about the project or want a training for your local NAMI chapter, please contact:
Robyn Gantsweg, CalMHSA SDR Project Coordinator and Senior Coordinator of Disability Rights California’s Peer/Self-Advocacy Program
- Phone: (213) 213-8134
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Reich, lead Mental Health Parity Training Coordinator and Disability Rights California Attorney
- Phone: (916) 504-5800
- Email: email@example.com
Disability Rights California is funded by a variety of sources, for a complete list of funders, go to this link.
The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Prevention and Early Intervention programs implemented by CalMHSA are funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). Prop. 63 provides the funding and framework needed to expand mental health services to previously under-served populations and all of California’s diverse communities.
- Julie Tessler: The mental health part of health care reform (vtdigger.org)
- What Qualifies as Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act? (turbotax.intuit.com)
- For college students, mental health screening kiosks offer ‘Check-Up from the Neck Up’ (sharpbrains.com)
- New funding available for youth (nanaimodailynews.com)
- Department of Behavioral Health Recognized by National Anti-Drug Coalition (ddot.dc.gov)