» Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program


Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program

About this Workstream

The Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP) seeks to address behavioral health access barriers for Medi-Cal students through targeted interventions that increase access to preventive, early intervention or other behavioral health services provided by school-affiliated behavioral health providers for TK-12 children in public schools. 

Early identification and treatment through school-affiliated behavioral health services can reduce emergency room visits, crisis situations, inpatient stays and other high-cost placements. Schools are a critical point of access for these preventive and early-intervention behavioral health services. SBHIP seeks to provide additional avenues to access behavioral health services in school and school-affiliated settings, which are critical for improving children’s mental health outcomes.

Managed by

  • DHCS

Strategic Area

Behavioral Health Ecosystem Infrastructure


$388.99 million



Workstream Goals

Break down silos and improve coordination of child and adolescent behavioral health services for those enrolled in Medi-Cal through increased communication with schools, school-affiliated programs, managed care providers, counties and mental health providers.

Increase the number of TK-12 students enrolled in Medi-Cal receiving behavioral health services provided by schools, school-affiliated providers, county behavioral health departments and county offices of education.

Increase non-specialty services on or near school campuses.

Address health equity gaps, inequalities, and disparities in access to behavioral health services.

Key Achievements

147 Targeted Interventions (TIs) are being implemented across the State. 

Approved 352 deliverables, including:

  • 58 Needs Assessments: Identify the behavioral health needs, population disparities, and service delivery gaps and barriers within a county.
  • 147 Project Plans: Outline selected TIs to address the behavioral health needs, gaps, and barriers identified in the Needs Assessment.
  • 147 Bi-Quarterly Reports: Communicate project implementation status, challenges encountered, and any changes at regular intervals throughout the duration of SBHIP.

Assisted in smooth transition of SBHIP responsibilities in counties that experienced MCP changes due to the 2024 Medi-Cal re-procurement process. 


January 2022

Program implemented.

January 2022 - December 2022

Medi-Cal MCPs completed needs assessments and project plans.

April 2022 - April 2025

Incentive payments distributed.

January 2023 - December 2024

Implementation of Targeted Interventions. (Note: Plans on an accelerated timeline began implementation activities in July 2022).