Thurmond Mental Health Wage Data Bill Signed by Governor

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Sacramento – Assembly Bill 462, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D- Richmond) allows the Employment Development Department (EDD) to share employment data with the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). The shared employment data will allow the MHSOAC to better assess employment outcomes for people with mental health needs. The bill passed both legislative houses with unanimous support and was signed by the Governor today. 

California's Mental Health Services Act, passed by voters in 2004, established the MHSOAC to promote change for California's mental health system and to develop the tools and strategies needed to ensure oversight and accountability. Among other goals, the Act identifies reducing unemployment as a key goal for mental health services.  

“Employment is an important factor towards independence, as it enables financial support for housing, transportation and related needs,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “AB 462 equips the MHSOAC with the data to develop the tools and standards that ensure California's mental health consumers have access to the services and support needed to improve and retain employment.”

According to a 2014 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 90 percent of adults served by California's public mental health system are unemployed. 

“Mental health services must be focused on recovery and there is no better measure for recovery than employment,” said Toby Ewing, Executive Director of the MHSOAC. “All Californians, including our family members and neighbors who experience a mental health need, recognize the value of employment and the benefits it provides.”

The United Advocates for Children and Families, CA Association of Veteran Service Agencies, California Mental Health Planning Council, Mental Health America of California, and CAFWD are in support of this bill. MHSOAC is the sponsor of this bill. 

RELEASE CONTACT: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.