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Behavioral Health Champion: City Attorney of San Francisco David Chiu

City Attorney of San Francisco David Chiu is our next #BehavioralHealthChampion. Asm. Chiu says California has fallen behind on addressing behavioral health care, but believes the new governor is a “game changer.”

On Gov. Gavin Newsom’s interest in behavioral health: It’s a game changer. There are a number of us in the legislature who have prioritized these issues, who know we need to do more, but to have the head of the executive branch working with legislators to move these issues forward, that changes the politics of how we get things done.”

Behavioral health matters: I would say that in California, like many other states, we’ve been behind. We haven’t been dealing with these issues and I think they’re evidenced by what we see as far as behavioral health issues in our criminal justice system. When it comes to homelessness, when it comes to students who drop out of school who aren’t successful in the workforce. All of these issues are probably stemmed from the fact that as a society, we’ve not done a great job of addressing behavioral health.”

An issue of equity: There has certainly always been a stigma around behavioral health issues, mental health issues, other related issues. It hasn’t gotten the attention that it deserves. And this is true when it comes to funding. This is true in how these areas of healthcare are addressed in the law. There isn’t the kind of equity that we want.”

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