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. We believe that mental health is the under-attended issue of our time.

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


We Engage

Advocacy groups, thought leaders and private industry, academia, consumers and family members, and the Legislature in upending the status quo and making mental health policy a top-tier priority.

We Inspire

Leadership, collaboration, and innovative thinking that leads to bold action toward an integrated system of care.

We Advance

Consumer-centered solutions through sound public policy and a culture of change that ensures all people receive the care they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.

latest news

Issue Spotlight

Dr. Shy Rab joined the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME) Team as the first “street psychiatrist” in 2018. On any given day, you’ll find him and his HOME Team partners meeting with the unhoused community, providing treatment for mental health conditions.


It’s an innovative and holistic approach, meeting people where they are instead of requiring them to come into a clinic or office for treatment. Dr. Rab and four other psychiatrists and two psychiatric nurse practitioners are joined by outreach workers, social workers, nurses and substance abuse counselors. The growing program is currently in the process of hiring more psychiatrists.

Dr. Rab joined Steinberg Institute Director of Communications Jason Shoultz for a conversation about the program.

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a proposed expansion of California’s behavioral health system, including more mental health housing and Mental Health Services Act reforms. The MHSA (passed in 2004 by California voters) was co-authored by mental health pioneer Rusty Selix, along with Steinberg Institute founder Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who joined the Governor for the announcement.

The Future of Mental Health

Our founder, Darrell Steinberg, gives a passionate speech in this TEDx talk about the injustice that those with mental illness frequently face when trying to receive treatment. Darrell has been fighting consistently to improve mental health policy in California since the late 1990s as a member of the state Assembly, as state Senate President pro Tem, and currently as mayor of Sacramento. Darrell was the co-author of the 2004 state initiative that imposed a 1 percent tax on incomes over $1 million, also called the California Mental Health Services Act, which has generated nearly $30 billion for mental health services since being enacted.

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