status: sb 906 has passed the legislature and was sent to THE GOVERNOR's DESK
ABOUT SB 906
This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to establish a Certified Support Specialist (CSS) certification program. The program defines the range of responsibilities and practice guidelines for peer support specialists, specifies required training and continuing education requirements, determines clinical supervision requirements, and establishes a code of ethics and processes for revocation of certification. SB 906 authorizes DHCS to amend the State’s Medicaid Plan to add peer support providers as a provider type within the Medi-Cal program.
A peer provider is a person who combines specialized training and their own lived experience with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and recovery, to deliver valuable support services. Across the nation, peer support programs have emerged as a successful practice with proven benefits to both peers and their clients. Peers can include people who have lived experience as clients, family members, or caretakers of individuals living with mental illness. Studies show that using peer support specialists helps reduce hospitalizations, improves functioning, increases satisfaction, alleviates depression and other symptoms, and diversifies the mental health workforce.
Once a bill passes out of committee, it moves to the floor where the author of the bill can bring it up for a vote. Letting your representative know how you feel about the bill is an important advocacy action to inform how representative votes on a bill on the floor. SB 906 is currently in committee but we anticipate that it will be brought up for a floor vote within the next few weeks.
Write your representative to let him or her know that you and your affiliate support SB 906. To create a letter, use the below template, or write your own. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will make sure it gets to the right place.
Review the Bill. Being informed on a bill before speaking to a representative is very important so you can get your point across in the best way possible.