who we are

The Steinberg Institute

We are an independent, nonprofit public policy institute dedicated to advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on issues of mental health and substance use. 

View of the California State Capitol Building
Darrell Steinberg speaking at an event



Sharing innovative best practices and policy approaches with leaders across the state of California.


We believe equitable access to care and recovery should be available for all Californians living with mental health and/or substance use disorders.


Vital information about California’s spending and outcomes must be collected, analyzed, made publicly available, and met with a focus on quality improvement and accountability.

Inspired leadership

Breaking down the barriers created by stigma and discrimination, we educate and inspire leadership on all issues related to mental health and substance use disorders.

latest news

Issue Spotlight

SACRAMENTO (November 15, 2023) – Today the Steinberg Institute announced a organizational expansion and commitment toward the goal of ending the mental health and substance use crisis in California. The Institute outlined the details of its ambitious new initiative, Vision 2030.

“Now is the time for us to double down on ending this crisis and put every resource we have into fighting for our state’s most vulnerable,” said Steinberg Institute CEO Karen Larsen. “Substance use rates have skyrocketed and tens of thousands of people struggling with addiction and mental illness find themselves cycling through our hospitals, jails and homelessness. Our workforce is overwhelmed, hospitals are overcrowded, and our criminal justice system is dealing with a challenge it isn’t built for.”

According to research from the Trevor Project, more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 consider suicide every year. To address this challenge, our crisis services must include appropriate resources for the needs of this community.

In 2022 the three-digit 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was launched, giving people quicker and easier access to potentially life saving help. Shortly after the 988 launch, a new tool for members of the LGBTQ community to reach help was added.

Today, the Steinberg Institute released Misaligned: California’s Local Public Safety Funding Doesn’t Meet Today’s Needs, a policy brief examining how California’s counties allocate state funding dedicated to reducing recidivism by funding evidence-based interventions, such as behavioral health services.

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