Posts Tagged: Lanterman-Petris-Short

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Real change proves elusive in mental health care system

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?

News

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

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.”

News

Mental health care: From the snake pit to the streets

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.

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