Mental Health

The mental health of an individual is inextricably linked to some of the greatest health challenges of our society.

Working with our state and local partners, the Office of the California Surgeon General is advancing systemic reforms that recognize and respond to the mental health crisis – with equity as our north star. Key among our efforts is the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative.

Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI) is a $4.7 billion investment to reimagine the systems that support behavioral health and wellness for California’s children and youth into an innovative, up-stream focused ecosystem. This ecosystem will focus on promoting wellbeing and preventing behavioral health challenges, and on routinely screening, supporting, and serving ALL children and youth for emerging and existing behavioral health needs, including mental health and substance use.

California Surgeon General and CYBHI

The Office of the California Surgeon General manages two workstreams of the CYBHI:


The Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG) was allocated $1 million under the CYBHI to develop Safe Spaces – a trauma-informed training for the early childcare and education sectors. When school personnel and care providers understand and can respond with trauma-informed principles, they can help to create safe and supportive learning environments for everyone, allowing educators to be more effective and helping children to be happier and healthier.


The CA-OSG is developing a $24 million public awareness campaign on ACEs and toxic stress set to launch Spring 2024. We have the unique opportunity to build a campaign that gives youth and young adults across California the resources and strategies they need to manage toxic stress, heal from adversity, and end cycles of trauma. Leading the effort from the CA-OSG is Julie Rooney, Director of Communications.

Featured Resources

January 2023 Progress Report

The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI) released a progress report highlighting the first 18 months of the initiative to transform the way California serves the mental, emotional and behavioral health needs of children, youth and families

Youth at the Center Report

The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI) released the Youth at the Center Report, highlighting what children, youth, families, and community members want in a reimagined behavioral health ecosystem.

Working Paper: California’s Children & Youth Behavioral Health Ecosystem

The CYBHI’s Working Paper is an early blueprint articulating what a more integrated and equitable mental and behavioral health system would look like and outlining the components, changes and steps necessary to get there.