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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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Governor Newsom Signs Mental Health Bills, Strengthening Parity Laws and Expanding Use of Peers

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Originally published by California State of Mind,, September 25, 2020 by Rob Waters Read the original story here  Monica Vera-Schubert spoke on a video conference to tell the story of her […]

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Q&A: Darrell Steinberg’s longtime focus on mental health

Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Originally published by Capitol Weekly, September 3, 2020 by Sigrid Bathen Read the original story here When Darrell Steinberg first ran for the state Assembly in 1998, he made mental […]

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Lawmakers send historic mental-health bills to Newsom

Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Originally published by Capitol Weekly, September 3, 2020 by Sigrid Bathen Read the original story here Landmark legislation to improve California’s notoriously fractured mental-health system has been passed and sent […]

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Historic Package of Mental Health Bills Clears California Legislature, Heads to Governor Newsom

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A package of mental health-related bills that passed the California legislature this week and headed to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom will – if the governor signs them — […]

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California poised to become national leader on mental health and addiction coverage

Posted on Friday, August 28, 2020

“Imagine being diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer and being told your insurance will kick in when you get to Stage 4 cancer. That’s what we tolerate for mental health and […]

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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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Mentally ill homeless people won’t get well on the sidewalks. They need housing. Yes on Prop 2

Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD

Of the roughly 134,000 homeless people on the streets of California, about a third are seriously mentally ill. Their illnesses cannot be successfully treated on sidewalks. They must get housing first. That’s why the state of California wisely enacted Assembly Bill 1816 two years ago to raise $2 billion to build or preserve permanent supportive housing for homeless people suffering from mental illness.

The bonds authorized by the program would be paid off by temporarily using a small portion — just about 6% — of the revenue generated by Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, which voters approved in 2004 to provide mental health treatment programs and services in the state. The proposition imposed a 1% surcharge on incomes above $1 million, which is expected to generate more than $2 billion this year alone. But the housing program — titled No Place Like Home — has been stymied by a lawsuit that contends the Mental Health Services Act was never intended to be spent on housing.

Voters will have the chance to resolve this issue in November by passing a ballot measure, Proposition 2, that would explicitly allow Mental Health Services Act dollars to be spent on the No Place Like Home program. We strongly endorse it.

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Editorial: Prop 2 provides vital housing funds for mentally ill

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2018

BY MERCURY NEWS & EAST BAY TIMES EDITORIAL BOARDS

You see them every day: Homeless people with mental illnesses wandering the streets with nowhere to go and no one to care for them.

It’s heartbreaking. Especially for those who understand that mental health disorders are physical diseases little different from heart or bone conditions except in our lack of understanding of how the mind works. Many forms of mental illness are treatable, if not curable, if those suffering can be given secure housing and the treatment and services they deserve.

Proposition 2 is designed to take a serious run at solving that problem. The measure would allow the Legislature to issue $2 billion of bonds to fund housing for homeless people with mental health problems. The money to pay off the bonds — estimated at $120 million a year — would come directly from Proposition 63 revenues, the tax on wealthy Californians that voters passed in 2004 to finance better mental health care.

It’s both a humane and smart use of funds. Voters should give Prop. 2 overwhelming support on Nov. 6.

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The easiest way to get more housing? Vote yes on Propositions 1 and 2

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

BY THE SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL BOARD

Thanks to the housing crisis, California also has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in homelessness. Nearly a quarter of the men, women and children who don’t have a permanent residence live here, increasingly in tents on street corners and often with an untreated mental illness.

Proposition 2 would address that.

The measure would finally let counties use money from Proposition 63 to pay for the construction of permanent housing for homeless people, as long as that housing includes a direct connection to supportive social services.

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