Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Randall Hagar

93. Randall Hagar

Randall Hagar, legislative advocate for the Psychiatric Physicians Alliance of California, has quietly, for decades, played a key role in complex policy and legislative efforts to reform California’s notoriously patchwork system of mental health care. It’s a subject generating intense political interest as the state’s mental health and homelessness crisis plays out visibly on the streets, and it’s a top concern of voters. Politicians are paying attention, with a spate of new programs, laws and huge state funding increases. The father of a schizophrenic adult son, Hagar learned painfully and firsthand about the state’s badly broken system, and has been active in mental-health advocacy groups, advising families, providers and public officials on local and state policy and legislation. It’s been a long slog, aimed at better treatment, early intervention – and reforming an intractable 1967 law that was intended to prevent civil rights abuses, but has too often resulted in severely mentally ill Californians cycling through jails, hospital ER’s and dying on the streets.

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