The families in these stories shared their experiences to help
people understand that mental illnesses are brain diseases and
should be treated as such. They asked to remain anonymous to
shield their children from the stigma of mental illness. The Bee
has given them pseudonyms or omitted their last names.
Tens of thousands of mentally ill people wind up each year in
California overburdened hospital emergency rooms or die on the
streets. California’s pioneering
Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, passed in 1967, gave legal rights to
those who previously could have been locked up indefinitely and
treated against their will has failed those unable or unwilling
to seek help.
A new survey finds that 20 percent of U.S. adults — over 45
million people — experienced mental illness in the past year.
Overall, 4.8 percent (11 million people) suffered serious mental
illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2
million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide,
according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The man lying on the bed in the emergency department at Community
Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno was calm, even
friendly. Dr. Nohemi Gonzalez-Caldwell asked him to sit up
so she could listen to his lungs through her
stethoscope. She pulled on a pair of gloves and leaned
toward him to do the examination. That’s when he slugged her
in the chest.
September 2, 2010Sacramento Business Journal September 2010
California’s health care system is facing many new challenges in
the era of health care reform. One of the biggest challenges for
the local health care system is the impact that state and county
budget cuts are having on programs that provide care and
assistance to people with mental health issues