Steinberg Institute

About Us

There are three indisputable facts about mental health in California.

First, everyone knows someone who suffers from mental illness, though it is rarely discussed.

Second, mental health affects virtually every major budget and policy issue addressed by government: criminal justice, housing and homelessness, the plight of veterans, children and education, and more.

Third, with rare exceptions, few Governors, legislators, or other elected officials choose to prioritize or work substantially on mental health issues. What’s more, California mental health advocacy organizations have collectively struggled to develop and articulate a comprehensive legislative agenda to elevate mental health as a state priority.

The numbers say it all.

  • Mental illness is the most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms.
  • Forty percent of permanent disabilities are a result of mental illness.
  • One third of the homeless diagnosed with a mental illness.
  • Thirty percent of the inmates in our correctional system live with mental illness

All these facts are exacerbated by those with coexisting substance use disorders. But the impact on the lives of the sufferers and their families can’t be quantified.

For the first time, a statewide organization has been created to forcefully change the status quo and dramatically increase the prioritization and effectiveness of mental health policymaking.

The Steinberg Institute is dedicated to advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on the issues of mental health.

Founded by Mayor-Elect and former State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the Steinberg Institute supports and encourages legislative champions; helps solve disputes between mental health stakeholders; engages business leaders and other non-traditional stakeholders; evaluates the impact of current investments; and, implements a tangible vision to advance mental health services and support.

In order to help heal the minds of millions of Californians, we first have to change the mindset in Sacramento. Please join us!

A Project of the Tides Center