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Mental health consumers pleading for help… who’s listening?

Last updated on July 4, 2020

I can only imagine what a fully engaged mental-health consumer community looks like.

I hear of the the challenges people face when entering into our county jail system. Of the number of deaths by suicide. The significant number of people who die while in custody.

I see our homeless population being challenged on a daily basis by police departments not equipped to focus on the total person in front of them as much as on punitive measures.

I hear exacerbated moms struggling to understand why their adult sons have been denied a bed in a safe environment as they come out of their manic state. The county has struggled providing nearly enough beds.

I have learned more recently that mental health utilization rates have plummeted due to the stay-at-home orders our state and county have rightly instituted to help us stay safe.

I hear Black and BIPOC residents pleas for equity, for the services they need as they continue to carry the heavy load of an unjust local policing and county criminal justice system.

And I know the County of San Diego could be spending up to $10m a year engaging all of the people involved in every scenario above, including family, employers, service providers. All stakeholders in our community facing known and unknown life challenges.

It’s time to start using the funding provided to us by state law, and working alongside stakeholders, from consumers to providers, to work together ensuring we are meeting their needs on an effective, consistent, and sustained basis.

San Diego County has the resources to engage stakeholders. Why are they so adamantly opposed to doing so in a much more robust way?

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