Too little spent on mental health programs

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 - 11:10 am

Re “The lessons of a tragic life and brutal death ” (Editorials, Jan. 15): A couple of points in The Bee’s editorial need to be addressed. First, since voters in 2004 approved the special tax for mental health care, at least $9 billion in taxes has been collected, but little has been spent on programs for the mentally ill. Not one state psychiatric hospitals has reopened. Second, the Editorial Board suggests sending police to a week of training for handling the mentally ill. The university system takes four to eight years to educate a therapist, and police, as first responders, need more than 40 hours of training. They must make accurate assessments under the “5150” involuntary mental illness hold to transport mentally ill people to a facility for evaluation. We need to ask the politicians why the mental health tax money is not being used as voters intended. -- Michael K.Sullivan, Folsom

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