Posts Tagged: mental health

News

Mental health courts cut costs, inmates, but lack oversight, data

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown. (Photo: Steinberg Institute)

San Francisco attorney Jennifer Johnson views her life and legal trajectory as “life before and life after” a devastating 2016 homicide case that forever changed her view of how the courts treat defendants who are mentally ill. The case in San Francisco Superior Court involved an 85-year-old defendant, Don Rebello, who suffered from severe dementia.  Suddenly and for no apparent reason, he stabbed and killed his beloved friend and longtime roommate, Erik Kleins, 83 – two of three elderly men who had long shared a San Francisco home.

Opinion

Exercise crucial amid the stresses of COVID-19

A pair of runners on a jaunt. (Photo: oneinchpunch, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming election, people are tuning into the news to hear the latest numbers on both, yet when it comes to COVID-19, there is another set of numbers that Americans should be aware of—the toll the virus has taken on our physical and mental health.

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

Lawmakers send historic mental-health bills to Newsom

The state Capitol in Sacramento, the seat of California government. (Photo: Always Wanderlust, via Shutterstock)

Landmark legislation to improve California’s notoriously fractured mental-health system has been passed and sent to the governor in the waning days of a chaotic legislative session disrupted by the COVID pandemic. “This package of legislation is a game-changer,” said Maggie Merritt, executive director of the Steinberg Institute.

News

Auditor slams state mental-health system, revives Laura’s Law

A troubled woman alone deals with issues alone. (Photo: Stokkete, via Shutterstock)

A massive and highly critical state auditor’s report has given new life to legislation to deal with California’s notoriously troubled mental-health system. The shift comes as state lawmakers, convening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, face hundreds of bills in the closing days of the legislative session.

News

Pressure mounts on how police handle mental-health crises

A modified image from a dash cam video taken at the May 2017 shooting of Mikel McIntyre. (Sacramento Sheriff's Department video)

On the afternoon of May 8, 2017, the family of 32-year-old Mikel McIntyre called 911 for help in dealing with his increasingly erratic and threatening behavior. The former high school and college athlete, who lived in Antioch and had briefly played baseball in the minor leagues, had been showing signs of serious mental illness, and his mother was concerned. She hoped a visit with family in Sacramento might help. The first call, shortly after 3 p.m., indicated a possible mental-health crisis: McIntyre had locked himself in a vehicle and was being “slightly combative,”

Opinion

Great Depression: Mental health is crucial to COVID-19 recovery

A portrait of a man alone and in distress. (Image icsnaps, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The economic and health-related impacts of COVID-19 have perpetuated feelings of uncertainty, anxiousness and loneliness across a broad swath of California’s population. A third of Americans are experiencing these emotions, according to a recent Census Bureau survey, and that’s concerning because stressors can trigger or re-ignite more severe mental health issues.

News

Community college students see need for mental health therapy

Students attending a lecture. (Photo: sirtravelalot, via Shutterstock)

Stressed by classes, grades, jobs, personal issues and COVID-19, some California community college students are turning to mental health counseling. But the service is scarce and demand is high. One major study found that community college students reported higher rates of academic impairment due to mental health struggles than students attending than students at the University of California or  California State University. 

News

PPIC: Three in four worried about finances, family illness

People line up outside a Trader Joe's market in San Francisco on April 5 during tne coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Bjorn Bakstad, via Shutterstock)>

As the number of known COVID-19 cases statewide continues to grow, overwhelming majorities of Californians are worried about a family member getting sick or about their personal finances worsening due to the coronavirus.

News

Veteran Prison Industry chief departs

Chuck Pattillo, former general manager of the California Prison Industry Authority. (Photo: CalPIA)

The head of the California Prison Industry Authority, an internationally known agency that trains inmates for such diverse occupations as carpentry, deep-sea diving, computer coding and farming, is retiring after more than a decade on the job.

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