Column: A half-century after failing to reform mental health care, California tries again

As excerpted from the LA Times.

The leading legislative advocate for re-reforming California’s mental health care programs is state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), new chair of the Senate Health Committee.

She jockeyed Newsom’s CARE Court bill through the Legislature and will also handle his bond measure.

But her main bill this year would make it easier for people in extreme psychological distress who need treatment to be detained against their will by police, crisis teams and mental health providers. The measure, SB 43, has passed two Senate committees with unanimous votes.

Under current law, people can be detained involuntarily only if they’re deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, or “gravely disabled.” But all that is difficult to prove. Eggman’s bill would significantly lower the bar “so the sickest of people don’t fall through the cracks and splatter on the sidewalks,” she says.


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