Steinberg Institute

About Us

There are three indisputable facts about mental health in California.

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

Second, brain 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 exception, few governors, legislators, or other elected officials choose to prioritize or work substantially on brain health issues. What’s more, 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.

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

For the first time, a statewide organization has been created to change the status quo and dramatically raise the profile and increase the effectiveness of mental health policy-making. Founded by Sacramento Mayor and former State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the Steinberg Institute is dedicated to advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on issues of brain health. The institute supports and encourages legislative champions; helps resolve disputes among mental health stakeholders; engages business leaders and other non-traditional stakeholders; evaluates the impact of investments; and promotes a tangible vision to advance brain health services and support. To help heal the minds of millions of Californians, we first have to change the mindset in Sacramento. Please join us!