Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2018
By Heather Knight
San Francisco Chronicle
Aug. 7, 2018
The severely mentally ill people we see on the sidewalks of San Francisco every day have one thing in common: The system failed them in disastrous fashion.
Chances are they have something else in common, too: mental illness stemming back to their childhood or young adulthood that was never properly treated. Clinical research shows 50 percent of all mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent begins by age 24.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has a proposal to catch these cases far earlier, before people suffering with untreated schizophrenia and bipolar disorder wind up living on our sidewalks and under our freeway overpasses.
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2018
By Darrell Steinberg and Scott Wiener
Special to The Sacramento Bee
August 02, 2018
In coming weeks, the Legislature will have the opportunity to pass a measure that would change the lives of thousands of Californians at risk of serious mental illness, increase access to quality mental health treatment, and ultimately turn the tide in our homelessness crisis.
But it means being more strategic and accountable in how we deliver mental health services in California. And that makes it controversial. It’s a gut-check moment. And we’re calling on state leaders to rise to the occasion.
The issue at hand is the state Mental Health Services Act. That’s the millionaire’s tax passed in 2004 that generates $2.2 billion a year for mental health care. Without question, the act has been a game-changer, providing a lifeline for tens of thousands of people whose lives have been derailed by serious mental illness.
But should it – and could it – be making an even bigger difference? We say yes.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The United States is suffering a critical shortage of licensed mental health professionals — and California is no exception. A study released in February by the Healthforce Center at UC San Francisco projects that California will have a severe shortage of psychiatrists by 2028. As it is, 23 of California’s 58 counties have fewer than one psychiatrist per 10,000 residents. Six counties have no psychiatrist at all.
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2018
By Felicia Mello/CALmatters
When student leaders from 23 California State University campuses came together last fall to set priorities for the academic year, improving campus mental health services received more nominations than any other issue. It beat out even that perennial concern, tuition costs.
Cal State Student Association president Maggie White said she’s not surprised.
“We’re seeing wait times at counseling centers that are exceeding two or three weeks, people turned away after a few appointments because they’ve exceeded the maximum allotment, and students not feeling comfortable going to counselors because no one looks like them or reflects their experience,” White said.
As the stigma attached to mental health care fades, California students are increasingly clamoring for more on-campus services that can help them cope with anxiety, depression and the stresses of a contentious political climate and rising living expenses. Several bills pending in the California Legislature would set aside resources for mental health care at the state’s public colleges and universities.
Mental health advocates say on-campus care is especially important because people often first experience psychological problems during their young adult years.
“It’s so much the age when serious mental illness manifests itself, and here we have these institutions that could absolutely be identifying this early on,” said Deborah Anderluh, a spokesperson for the Steinberg Institute, which lobbies for more funding for mental health treatment.
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2018
Earlier this month, Steinberg Institute founder and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg sat down for a provocative interview with Thinking CAP, a podcast of the Center for American Progress. Given the timing, much of the interview centers on immigration and the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over its sanctuary state laws. But about 14 minutes in, the focus turns to mental health: the strides we’ve made in care and innovation and the barriers that remain. What will it take to reach the tipping point? He lays out a vision.
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2018
In a remarkable first, a leading candidate to be Governor of California has embraced mental health care as a top-tier priority. In this essay in Medium, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom lays out his platform for elevating the state’s approach to brain health.
“When it comes to healthcare in California,” he begins, “we for far too long have tolerated two different and unequal worlds. I don’t mean rural and urban. I don’t mean rich and poor. While both those dichotomies are true, I am talking about the fundamental differences in our approach to illness of the body and illness of the brain.”
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017
The 2017 legislative session in California produced a critical step forward for mental health care that was embraced and supported on both sides of the aisle.
Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2017
What goes through your mind as you walk by someone living in a doorway or an alley? Is it sorrow? Fear? Or does the sight not always register, because homelessness seems a problem that’s too big to fix?
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg lays out a detailed vision for addressing Sacramento County’s homeless crisis that blends compassion with concrete, data-driven strategy. His question: Do we have the political will […]
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017
As you gather with children this Father’s Day weekend, consider how far you would go to ensure their well-being: If your child had cancer or diabetes, would you wait until […]