Coalition includes state and local officials, first responders, health care professionals, behavioral health providers, business organizations, civil rights groups and faith leaders, among others
CARE Court empowers Californians suffering from untreated schizophrenia spectrum and psychotic disorders to access treatment, services, and housing
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom convened the coalition in support of CARE Court, which will provide individuals with severe mental health and substance use disorders the care and services they need to get healthy. SB 1338, CARE Court legislation authored by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) and Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), will be heard tomorrow in its first committee, Senate Judiciary.
“Support for CARE Court is broad and diverse because Californians are tired of the status quo,” said Governor Newsom. “We must act with urgency and accountability to address this crisis which currently leaves thousands of individuals living on our streets without the help they need.”
The coalition includes members of California’s Big City Mayors, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, California Professional Firefighters, the California Medical Association, and the California Hospital Association, among others.
Governor Newsom convenes CARE Court coalition, including California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice, pictured at center in second photo.
“As leaders at the local level, we are on the frontlines of this crisis, and we see CARE Court as a critical priority for the Big City Mayors of California. It’s time that our golden state stops walking by our greatest moral shame and faces it head on with clarity and compassion,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“Our members see people at their point of greatest need, responding to 911 calls for those in serious mental health crisis. This leads to using scarce fire and EMS resources to pick up the same folks over and over again. Governor Newsom knows we need a different approach, and CARE Court will help us break this cycle and truly get people the help they need,” said California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice.
CARE Court would allow courts to order CARE plans, which would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment to the most severely impaired and untreated Californians and hold patients accountable to following their treatment plans. It 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 schizophrenia spectrum or psychotic disorders, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services. These include short-term stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services, including a housing plan.
The Governor has called upon the Legislature to move quickly to enact CARE Court to allow local partners to begin implementation of this critical program. CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14 billion multi-year investment to provide 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. For more information, visit https://www.chhs.ca.gov/care-court/