Eric Rafla-Yuan, M.D. is a psychiatrist, educator, researcher, and health policy expert. He graduated medical school and completed additional training in bioethics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and completed residency training at the UC San Diego Community Psychiatry Program, where he founded and led the psychiatry residency diversity committee. He serves as a contributing editor for the journal Psychiatric Services and his research focuses on policy and structural drivers of health outcomes. He is the first person to write about 988 and clinical crisis services in a major medical journal and his work is published in popular media as well as the New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs, and he has been interviewed by the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, Politico, and others. Dr. Rafla-Yuan is actively engaged in improving the health of communities in California and across the nation. He is currently appointed as a 988 Technical Advisor for the California Office of Emergency Services and previously served as a senior policy advisor for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, where he designed health and human services program implementation for San Diego County’s 3.3 million residents, with a budget of $3.2 billion, across 18 cities, 18 federally recognized tribal reservations, 16 major naval and military installations, and the unincorporated areas of California’s second largest County. He has held leadership roles with local and state organizations, including the San Diego County Medical Society, San Diego Psychiatric Society, California Medical Association, and California State Association of Psychiatrists. He continues to be recognized nationally, serving as the chair of American Psychiatric Association Caucus on the Social Determinants of Mental Health, a delegate in the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates, and Vice President of AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists. Dr. Rafla-Yuan formerly served in Washington, D.C. as Health Counsel for Congressman Tony Cárdenas and as Staff Director of the bipartisan 988 & Crisis Services Congressional Task Force in the United States House of Representatives during the 117th session of Congress.


Matthew Goldman, Eric Rafla-Yuan, Divya Chhabra, et al. A. Reform in an Era of Mental Health and Crisis Services Innovation. Eds: Leah Pope, Michael Compton, Amy Watson. Entangled: How People with Serious Mental Illnesses Get and Stay Caught Up in Misdemeanors. APA Textbook Publishing; In Press

Eric Rafla-Yuan, Lisa B Dixon. 988 and the Crisis Continuum of Care. Psychiatric Services: Editor’s Choice; July 07 2023.

Eric Rafla-Yuan. Struggle and Solidarity: Seven Stories of How Americans Fought for Their Mental Health Through Federal Legislation. Community Mental Health Journal; July 07 2023.

Eric Rafla-Yuan. Mobile Crisis Metrics: Moving Toward a Functional Crisis Continuum of Care. Psychiatric Services; July 01 2023.

Eric Rafla-Yuan, Shavon Moore, Hernán Carvente-Martinez, Phillip Yang, Lilanthi Balasuriya, Kamilah Jackson, Courtney McMickens, Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy. Striving for Equity in Community Mental Health: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Care for BIPOC Youth. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics; April 01 2022

Majd Al-Soleiti., Mahmoud Abu-Adi, Ayat Nashwan, Eric Rafla-Yuan. Barriers and Opportunities for Refugee Mental Health Services: Clinician Recommendations from Jordan. Global Mental Health; Sep 28 2021

Eric Rafla-Yuan, Divya K. Chhabra, and Michael O. Mensah. Decoupling Crisis Response from Policing — A Step Toward Equitable Psychiatric Emergency Services. New England Journal of Medicine; May 6 2021.

Eric Rafla-Yuan. I Can’t Breathe. Academic Psychiatry; Feb 12 2021.