CEO Messages

Regional Behavioral Health Event Emphasizes Collaboration Across Sectors

A behavioral health crisis has long existed in California. Almost one quarter of adults with a mental illness are unable to receive the treatment they need — a number that has not improved since 2011. To discuss this crisis, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services hosted the Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative at the end of May in Santa Rosa. The event drew attendees from various community sectors in and outside of Sonoma County and was held in collaboration with Hospital Council and the Master of Health Care Delivery Science program at Dartmouth College.  

The goal of the collaborative was to discuss California’s behavioral health crisis and find solutions through panel discussions and legislative and policy updates. While the conversation focused on innovation and new care models, the key component I want to emphasize in tackling the behavioral health crisis is the idea of diverse collaboration.  

Social determinants of health are the environmental conditions where people live and work (such as reliable transportation and air quality) that greatly impact people’s health and quality of life. Due to the many factors impacting health care, it only makes sense to broaden our collaboration to include partners from varied sectors outside of the hospital field, such as law enforcement and county behavioral health departments.  

Our patients come from diverse backgrounds, and it’s important for us to gain an understanding of diverse perspectives in order to better serve them. Ally-building with partners from community sectors outside of the hospital field is key to tackling the behavioral health crisis, as seen in the collaborative’s panel discussions that featured members of the police department, county behavioral health department, and more. Thanks to this event, Hospital Council is inspired to take on a more unified front to ensure Californians have access to high-quality health care.  

You can read more about the Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative below.