Daybreak Health Officially Announces Medi-Cal Partnership

All students with Medi-Cal coverage now have equitable access to Daybreak’s Health School-Based Mental Health Services

SAN FRANCISCO (May 14, 2024) – Daybreak Health, the leading provider of school-based mental health services, has officially announced their partnership with Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, that covers over 15.5 million people across the state, including over 5.5 million youths ages 0-20.

Nationwide, youths are facing a mental health crisis unlike anything the U.S. has ever seen as young people grapple with staggering rates of anxiety, depression and suicide. Unfortunately, these national behavioral health trends are also reflected at the state level in California. By 2022, suicide was the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-14 years. A study conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles showed that nearly 1 in 3 (29.3 percent) Californian adolescents meet criteria for serious psychological distress, while another 1 in 6 (15.7 percent) reported symptoms of moderate psychological distress even before the pandemic, in 2019.

A recent California state audit showed that some children on Medi-Cal had to wait weeks, even months, for mental health care. Daybreak is partnering with K12 districts across California to ensure that all students have ready and equitable access to high-quality, evidence-based mental health care. When a student is referred for Daybreak’s teletherapy services, they can access a live intake session within 48 hours and are then personally matched with a qualified clinician that meets their specific needs.

Daybreak currently partners with over 55 school districts and counties in California, covering ~1.5 million enrolled students, including Antelope Valley Union High, Palm Springs Unified, Lake Elsinore Unified, San Diego Unified, Simi Valley Unified, Apple Valley Unified, Alameda County of Education, Shasta County Office of Education, and more. 

“Daybreak’s mission has always been to build a world where every young person can access—and benefit from—mental health support,” said Daybreak Health CEO, Alex Alvarado. “By partnering with Medi-Cal, we are able to quickly serve the most vulnerable populations in California with high-quality mental health care—at no cost to families.”

“This is a huge step forward to ensure that every child in need in California has equitable access to evidence-based mental healthcare,” shared Devika Bhushan, MD, Daybreak Health’s Chief Medical Officer and former Acting Surgeon General of California. “Mental health is critical for a young person to be able to successfully learn, connect with others, and go on to thrive. I’m so proud that Daybreak can now make that possible for the most vulnerable families across California, at no cost—helping close key health and educational disparities.”

About Daybreak Health

Daybreak Health partners with 100+ K-12 districts across the country to provide mental health support to help students reach their full potential. Daybreak’s teletherapy and onsite programs are designed to give students and families equitable access to high-quality and culturally competent care to meet their unique needs—at no cost to families. Our evidence-based programs provide effective treatments that reduce crisis escalations, the need for Tier 3 interventions, and chronic absenteeism. To learn more about Daybreak, visit

Downloadable Content

The State of Youth Mental Health & Our Schools

How schools are responding to the rising demand for student mental health services.