Steinberg Institute

A road map from our nation’s experts to transform the mental health system

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Dr. Thomas R. Insel, the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy have announced that the leaders of the nation’s 14 […]

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Op-Ed: Learning from the pandemic about what works against homelessness

Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2020

Originally published by Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2020. Read the original story here. By DARRELL STEINBERG Sometimes the answer to a complex problem lies right in front of our eyes. […]

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mental health green ribbon

New California law should serve as a national model for mental health care reform

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Originally published by STAT News, October 14, 2020.Read the original story here. By DARRELL STEINBERG and PATRICK J. KENNEDY As our nation continues to confront the ramifications of a global pandemic, the […]

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LA Times Op-Ed: Mentally ill people in desperate need of treatment often don’t get it because of an antiquated law

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2020

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed by Jonathan Sherin and Darrell Steinberg, originally published in the Los Angeles Times, on August 20, 2020. A link to the full […]

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The mental health toll of the pandemic could rival that of the disease itself. A tired nurse leaves Mt. Sinai Morningside Hospital in New York City, April, 23 2020.B.A. VAN SISE/NURPHOTO/GETTY

The mental health toll from the coronavirus could rival that of the disease itself

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2020

“Tom Insel has watched the nation grapple with plenty of psychologically challenging situations over his long career in the field of mental health.”

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More than $300 million in No Place Like Home money going to work

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019

More good news coming out of the “No Place Like Home” bond program this week: The state of California awarded $302 million for supportive housing projects for people living with […]

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Our 2020 Legislative Package is out!

Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Now in our sixth year of operation, the Steinberg Institute is capitalizing on the political momentum created by a new governor who has prioritized mental health policy by pursuing an […]

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No Place Like Home proposals are in – time to give the voters what they want

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019

With a swiftness born of need, communities grappling with homelessness across California have submitted proposals to use more than all of the first $178 million tranche from Proposition 2, the […]

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Groups of people

We’re only getting started …

Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Dear Friends, 

We launched the Steinberg Institute on January 5, 2015, with a goal of advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on issues of mental health. Our vision, pure and simple, was to upend the status quo and dramatically increase the profile and effectiveness of mental health policy-making in California.
This week, as we listened to Governor Gavin Newsom claim mental health as a top-tier priority in his inaugural address, we celebrated our fourth anniversary feeling gratified by what we’ve accomplished with your support and inspired as we look forward to what we know is possible. In a relatively short time frame, our small team has had an outsized impact on California policy, logging successes that never would have happened without your partnership.
California is not yet where it could be — not yet where it will be. But we have made decided gains on behalf of the tens of thousands of families in our state grappling with mental illness.
Among the accomplishments we’re proud to have helped shepherd: 

— The November 2018 passage of Proposition 2, the “No Place Like Home” initiative that will generate $2 billion to get tens of thousands of people with serious mental illness off the streets and into permanent housing linked to treatment.
— Senate Bill 1004 requiring California to adopt a statewide strategic vision for prevention and early intervention in mental illness with the aim of standardizing and scaling up best practices.

— 2018 legislation making California the first state in the nation to develop and promote workplace mental health standards.

— Partnerships with restaurant leaders and other industries to promote workplace training on mental health issues.

— Newly forged alliances that have brought bold tech entrepreneurs together with county providers to advance innovative approaches to diagnoses and treatment of mental illness. 

— Outreach and education that has grown the ranks of legislators who embrace mental health care as a priority.

— Increased training for law enforcement officers in dealing with people in psychiatric crisis.  

— Expanded requirements for suicide prevention policies in public schools.

— Expanded oversight and reporting requirements for mental health spending.

— Convenings and outreach encouraging more effective approaches to growing our mental health workforce and improving service delivery. 

And there is so much more to come. We’re honored to be among those advising the new Administration on mental health policy, and are committed to drawing on global expertise to design a road map for our state toward a more accessible, equitable and effective mental health care system. We once again will press for critical legislation to advance peer certification and a reimbursement system that supports same-day billing for physical and mental health services. We will attack disparities in the provision of physical and mental health care as an unacceptable violation of civil rights. We will continue our efforts to forge a system of care grounded in prevention and early intervention, so we are intervening well before a brain illness becomes disabling.    

Four years in, and it feels like we’re only getting started. Just think what 2019 will bring.
In partnership, 
Darrell Steinberg, Maggie Merritt and the Steinberg Institute team

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My turn: Voters showed heart by supporting housing for people with mental illness

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018

Guest Commentary/Posted Nov. 19, 2018

By Darrell Steinberg
Special to CALmatters

It’s an amazing story, really. A testament to the priorities – and the hearts — of California voters.

Earlier this month, more than 6.5 million people voted in favor of Proposition 2, the initiative that will generate billions of dollars to build supportive housing, linked to services and treatment, for people living with a serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of chronic homelessness.

Proposition 2 not only passed. It drew more votes than any proposition on the statewide ballot.

The outcome underscores the extent to which people across this state recognize homelessness as a crisis that is tearing at the fabric of our communities. How many times have you walked by someone huddled in a doorway, disheveled and disoriented, and wondered, “What can one person do?”

About a third of the people subsisting on our streets and alleys live with untreated mental illness. Without stable housing, the challenges of getting them into effective treatment and recovery are monumental and sometimes impossible. Instead, our police and firefighters have become the first and last resort for responding to people in psychiatric crisis.

Proposition 2 offers a real, evidence-based solution: stable housing partnered with wraparound services.

And voters’ overwhelming support for its passage marks a call to arms: We need to attack homelessness–and the untreated mental illness that so often lands people on the streets—as the public health crisis that it is.

We need to move fast, as we do when responding to other disasters of monstrous proportion. We need to get this money out and ensure our cities and counties work collaboratively to get the housing built, and to pair those homes with the services that make this treatment model successful.

So what happens now? 

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