Posts Tagged: Lanterman-Petris-Short
A woman in a medical ward ponders her situation. (Photo: Boyloso, via Shutterstock)
Lee Davis says flatly that without involuntary treatment for her raging psychosis, she would be dead. “It saved my life.” A mental health activist who chairs the Alameda County Mental Health Advisory Board, which advises the board of supervisors and county officials on mental health policy, Davis acknowledges hers is not a popular view among disability rights advocates,
Californnia Gov. Gavin Newsom, chatting with a homeless man in Fresno, has proposed a sweeping overhaul of California's mental health care system. (Photo: Governor's office)
Newsom’s plan would create an entirely new system of civil court supervision, connecting individuals with intensive treatment and, equally important, housing. By his estimate, it would help 7,000-to-12,000 severely mentally ill people each year, many with chronic physical conditions that are worsened by life on the streets, clearly unable to care for themselves. It would not replace existing programs.
An illustration of the brain and potential links to instability -- including mental illness. Some elements provided by NASA.(Image: GrAI, via Shutterstock)
Important legislation to improve California’s broken mental health system was passed this year, plus billions in new funding in the state budget — all aimed at stemming the tide of a growing crisis on California streets, in hospital ER’s, jails and prisons. But will it mean real change?
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at a 2018 City Council meeting. (Photo: Associated Press)
When Darrell Steinberg first ran for the state Assembly in 1998, he made mental health the bedrock of his legislative agenda. Shortly after he took office, the former Sacramento city councilman introduced AB 34, which initially provided $10 million to fund pilot projects for community mental-health programs. The bill marked the first significant state investment in an increasingly troubled mental health system in decades, resulting in what Steinberg called “the beginnings of real success, with decreased hospitalizations and reduced homelessness.”
Illustration of a person suffering from mental illness. (Image: GrAl, via Shutterstock)
The modern history of mental-health care in California begins more than half a century ago with passage of the landmark 1967 Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, an ambitious — but ultimately disastrous — overhaul of a draconian “system” of hoary old mental hospitals throughout California. Most of the hospitals were closed, but the “community care” that was to take their place never materialized.