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Mental Health Week: Navigating The Complexities Of Getting Mental Health And Substance Abuse Benefits Covered By Health Insurance

Published April 14, 2022 at 9:54 AM PDT
Patients take part in a support group at Le Gouz clinic, specialised in mental health of medical staff, on April 1, 2021, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. - Le Gouz clinic treats health workers suffering from work burnouts, many of whom are exhausted by the Covid-19 crisis.
JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images
Patients take part in a support group at Le Gouz clinic, specialised in mental health of medical staff, on April 1, 2021, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

California Continues Its Push To End Gas-Powered Car Sales By 2035–We Discuss The Latest

Clean Car Rules 4.14.22

California’s Air Resources Board issued a proposal this week that would ban the sale of new, gas-powered vehicles in California by 2035. This follows an executive order by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2020, directing the state to make that push. If the proposal is enacted this summer, this would be the first mandate of its kind in the world. As California gets closer to making this proposal a reality, we wanted to know the logistics of making it happen.

Today on AirTalk, we break down all this and more with Gil Tal, director of the Plug-In, Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis.

COVID-19 AMA: Spring Break Concerns As COVID Cases Tick Up, California Removes Some Quarantine Requirements, Booster Effectiveness For Kids, And More

Covid Update 4.14.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Dean Blumberg, professor of medicine and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. 

Topics today include:

Actress And Comedian Molly Shannon On The Tragedy That Shaped Her And The Hustle That Helped Her Breakthrough

Hello Molly Book 4.14.22

Molly Shannon is probably best known for the iconic characters she developed over six seasons on “Saturday Night Live:” Mary Katherine Gallagher, Sally O’Malley, and the “Delicious Dish” NPR spoof with Ana Gasteyer. When Shannon was just four years old, her mother, younger sister, and cousin were killed in a car crash. Shannon, her sister, and her father, Jim (who was driving) survived, but her father was seriously injured. Her new memoir, “Hello, Molly!” (Ecco, 2022), opens with the crash and its aftermath, details Shannon’s upbringing with her father, Jim and her tireless efforts to make it in show business. Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with actress and comedian Molly Shannon about the loss of her mother and sister, how her relationship with her father shaped her approach to comedy, the road to her breakthrough on “Saturday Night Live,” what inspired some of her iconic characters, and the lingering lessons of grief.

Molly Shannon will be in conversation with actor John C. Reilly at 7pm on Wednesday, April 20th at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, for a book event hosted by Book Soup. Tickets are available here.  

Mental Health Week: Governor Newsom’s CARE Court Will Compel Some People To Mental Health Treatment. But Will It Help Them? Or Create More Harm? Experts Weigh In.

Mental Health Care Courts 4.14.22

Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a way to compel treatment for those suffering from severe mental illness. The new legislation called "CARE court” is meant to be an alternative to conservatorship and the criminal courts. The goal would be to provide treatment for people suffering from extreme, untreated psychotic illness or substance abuse and who cannot care for themselves. Under Newsom's proposal, individuals could be referred to CARE Court by family, a first responder, or law enforcement, and counties would be required to provide treatment or face possible sanctions. A court-ordered treatment plan could include medications, therapy and other supportive services such as housing. Those who didn't complete the program could be hospitalized, sent to criminal court or get referred for conservatorship. The proposal has sparked much conversation amongst mental health experts, with some saying it curtails people’s civil liberties and doesn’t address underlying mental health concerns, and others applauding the move to address the homelessness and mental health crisis in Los Angeles.

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by Robert Garrova, mental health reporter at KPCC and LAist, Dr. Jonathan Sherin, director of LA County Department of Mental Health, and Kristen R. Choi, professor of nursing and public health at UCLA to discuss where we’re at with the new legislation and how its framework may help or further harm the people it seeks to serve.

With files from LAist

Navigating The Complexities Of Getting Mental Health And Substance Abuse Benefits Covered By Health Insurance

Mental Health Therapy And Insurance 4.14.22

Finding a therapist today is challenging enough as demand for mental health counseling has spiked through the pandemic, and mental health professionals juggle the influx of new patients with their already heavy caseloads. And when it comes to getting mental health or substance abuse benefits covered by an insurance provider, things become even more complex. Federal law does require that mental health and substance abuse benefits be covered equally compared to medical benefits, and California's protections under law are more detailed than many states, but even those who do have coverage face challenges like finding the right therapist that's also in-network.

Today on AirTalk, we talk with attorney and licensed psychotherapist Meiram Bendat, whose law firm Psych Appeal specializes in mental health insurance advocacy on behalf of patients and providers. He'll help explain the complexities of how mental health and substance abuse benefits are covered by insurance.

AirTalk Honors The Local Heroes Making A Difference Around Southern California

Local Heroes 4.14.22

The news is a lot to handle right now, so on Airtalk, we’re setting aside time each week to talk about some of the positives, like all the good people doing great things across Southern California. We asked you to help us shine a spotlight on your local heroes, and we received a lot of great submissions. Today on AirTalk, we kick off our series honoring local heroes with a conversation with Tommy Vinh Bui, a librarian from Pacoima, who volunteers for several organizations and causes, and is planning a charity bike ride from San Francisco to L.A.

To help us shine a spotlight on your local hero, go to You’ll find a link right under our show description where you can nominate your local hero. And they could be interviewed here on AirTalk. We’re hoping to do one of these each week, and we can’t do it without your help. 

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