California is trying some new approaches to fighting mental illness and homelessness, including sending out trained crisis teams, also called intervention teams, from 911, when people call with emergencies.
The focus of the new government plan is to find place people with mental health and addiction disorders into court-ordered care that includes medication and housing.
The new government plan, if passed into law- would require all 58 counties in the state to participate in the program through their civil courts. Local governments would face sanctions if they don’t comply with the requirements.
Therapeutic Transportation program will be on call 24 hours a day and will connect people with mental health services. The idea of the program is to alleviate hospital overcrowding and allow police and firefighters to respond to calls they are best suited to handle.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the response teams are akin to gang interventionists or suicide prevention and sexual abuse response teams that work alongside authorities.
“We know that mental health is best treated by mental health experts,” he said. “Oftentimes, seeing a badge can trigger people’s trauma even more.”
The Therapeutic Transportation program is a part of LA County Department of Mental Health, which is seeing a massive increase in funding under Democrat Governor Newsome.
According to a press statement from Newsome’s office, his plan is worth a lot of money:
Governor Newsom Launches New Plan to Help Californians Struggling with Mental Health Challenges, Homelessness
CARE (Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment) Court is a new policy framework to assist people living with untreated mental health and substance abuse challengesAccountability for individuals and local governments with court orders for services
SAN JOSE – At a mental health treatment center in San Jose, Governor Gavin Newsom today unveiled CARE Court, a new framework to provide individuals with mental health and substance use disorders the care and services they need to get healthy.
The proposal, which must be approved by the Legislature, would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment to the most severely impaired and untreated Californians and hold patients accountable to their treatment plan.“CARE Court is about meeting people where they are and acting with compassion to support the thousands of Californians living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders,” said Governor Newsom. “We are taking action to break the pattern that leaves people without hope and cycling repeatedly through homelessness and incarceration. This is a new approach to stabilize people with the hardest-to-treat behavioral health conditions.” CARE Court does not wait until someone is hospitalized or arrested before providing treatment. CARE Court will provide an opportunity for a range of people, including family members, first responders, intervention teams, and mental health service providers, among others, to refer individuals suffering from a list of specific ailments, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services. “Governor Newsom’s groundbreaking CARE Court proposal breaks through on a key missing piece of the homeless challenge,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “For people who are the sickest and most vulnerable on our streets, the governments responsible for helping them must be legally obligated to act.” The framework provides individuals with a clinically appropriate, community-based and court-ordered Care Plan consisting of culturally and linguistically competent county mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. These include short-term stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services, including a housing plan. Services are provided to the individual through an outpatient model while they live in the community. CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14 billion multi-year investment to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots and nearly $10 billion annually in community behavioral health services. The Governor’s approach focuses on quickly rehousing unsheltered individuals with behavioral health issues, all while new units come online, while also transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people struggling the most.