Covered California

Mental Health Resources

Woman doing yoga at home, serene with mental health resources

Welcome to our Mental Health Resources page. At Covered California Enrollment Center Fresno, we understand that mental health is as crucial to well-being as physical health. Your mind and body are interconnected, and maintaining both is key to overall wellness.

We are committed to ensuring Californians have access to the resources and care they need to live their healthiest, fullest lives. This commitment goes beyond just providing access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage for physical health needs. It extends into ensuring our clients and visitors have a robust set of resources for managing and improving mental health.

Covered California recognizes that mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are as real as physical conditions, like heart disease or diabetes. And just like physical conditions, mental health conditions can be treated effectively. We firmly believe that mental health care is not an optional benefit but a fundamental part of comprehensive health care.

Understanding Your Mental Health Coverage Rights in California

Mental health is a critical component of your overall well-being, and understanding your coverage rights is the first step towards getting the help you or your loved ones might need.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders: You Are Not Alone

In California, mental health and substance abuse disorders are more common than many realize. Statistics show that one in six adults in California experiences some form of mental illness, and 8 percent meet the criteria for substance abuse disorders. If you’re facing such challenges, remember, you are not alone. Both federal and state laws are in place to ensure you receive the care you need.

Mental Health Coverage & The Law

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Your mental health is as important as your physical health. The ACA mandates that mental and behavioral health services are essential health benefits, which must be covered by ACA-compliant health plans. These services include:

  • Behavioral health treatment, such as counseling and psychotherapy.
  • Inpatient mental and behavioral health services.
  • Substance use disorder treatment.

These plans cover nearly all mental disorders, substance use disorders, and treatments for alcohol and chemical dependency. Additionally, federal law requires that the coverage for these services must be on par with medical and surgical services in terms of deductibles, visit limits, and care management.

Additional Protections from California Law: California law further strengthens these protections by requiring all health plans in the state to cover specific mental health conditions, such as:

  • Major depressive disorders
  • Autism or pervasive developmental disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Eating disorders (Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa)
  • Serious emotional disturbances in children under age 18

Health plans must cover outpatient diagnosis and treatment, inpatient hospital services, partial hospitalization, and prescription drugs (if covered by the plan), with the same terms as any other medical condition.

New California Law for Timely Access to Care

A groundbreaking California law, effective from July 2022, ensures timely access to mental health and substance abuse health professionals. Under this law, when you see a mental health or substance abuse health professional, you’re entitled to a return appointment within 10 business days. This also applies to referral appointments.

Your Path to Treatment & Help

Starting your journey towards healing is crucial, and we’re here to guide you. Depending on your health plan, you may directly make an appointment with a mental health care provider or need a referral from your primary care physician. We recommend checking your insurance company’s website or calling the number on your membership card for specific details. Some plans offer a direct behavioral health phone line for assistance.

Mental Health Resources

To help you navigate through life’s challenges, we have compiled a variety of mental health resources for you on this page. From hotlines for immediate help to community mental health services, online resources, and insurance coverage details – these tools are meant to support you and your loved ones through times of need. Whether you’re looking for immediate crisis intervention, long-term care, or simply learning more about mental health, you’ll find a wealth of resources here.

Everyone’s mental health journey is unique. By providing these resources, Covered California hopes to make that journey a little easier, providing a helping hand to guide you to the right services, care, and support. Remember, you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help. Take a moment to explore, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support.

Covered California is with you, every step of the way, as we continue to break down barriers and increase access to both physical and mental health care services. Together, we can promote healthier minds and healthier lives across our state.

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
      • A free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information, and local resources.
  2. Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
      • A free, 24/7 service for people in crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds from a secure online platform.

Statewide Organizations

  1. California Department of Health Care Services – Mental Health Services Division
      • The Mental Health Services Division (MHSD) administers a number of mental health programs for Children and Youth, Adults and Older Adults.
  2. California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)
      • An organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
  3. Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement
      • A statewide initiative aimed at raising awareness and promoting understanding about mental health.

Non-Profit Organizations

  1. Mental Health America of California
      • Offers resources, policy advocacy, and training to promote mental wellness.
  2. NAMI California
      • A grass-roots organization providing support, education, and advocacy for people living with mental illness and their loved ones.

Online Resources

  1. Psychology Today – Therapists Directory for California
      • A comprehensive directory of therapists, psychiatrists, and treatment facilities in California.
  2. BetterHelp
      • A web-based platform that offers online counseling and therapy services. It is subscription-based and could be useful for those with limited mobility or access to in-person therapy.

Specialized Resources

  1. The Trevor Project – 1-866-488-7386
      • Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
  2. California Youth Crisis Line – 1-800-843-5200
      • A statewide, 24/7, toll-free, confidential crisis line for youths and young adults ages 12-24, and/or any adults supporting youth.

Health Insurance & Mental Health Coverage

  1. Covered California – Mental Health Care
      • Provides information on mental health and substance use disorder services, including depression screening, behavioral health treatment and counseling, and substance use disorder treatment that are covered under insurance policies bought through Covered California.
  2. Medi-Cal Mental Health
      • Information about Medi-Cal’s mental health benefits for California residents.
  3. Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP) for pregnant women
      • Provides pregnant women with comprehensive coverage for a low cost with no copayments or deductibles for its covered services.

Community Mental Health Services

  1. Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS)
      • CBAS offers services to older adults and adults with chronic health conditions or disabilities to help them continue to live in their homes and communities.
  2. County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA)
      • Lists all county behavioral health departments in California. Each county has different services, including outpatient, residential, inpatient, and emergency mental health services, as well as substance use disorder services.

Substance Use Disorder Services

  1. California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) – Substance Use Disorder Services
      • Information about California’s substance use disorder services and programs, including residential treatment, detoxification, outpatient, and recovery services.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Treatment Services Locator
      • A confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.

Mental Health Advocacy & Legal Resources

  1. Disability Rights California
      • Provides legal services to people with disabilities. They can help with discrimination, abuse, special education, Social Security, and more.
  2. Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS)
      • Provides free legal services to people with mental disabilities.