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Questions & Answers

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    Why does behavioral health matter? Behavioral health is an issue that we must not ignore. Anyone at anytime can be effected and not all signs are noticed and are ignored. We must help and contribute anyway possible for mental issues. MORE
    What steps should California take to increase access to care for those with mental illness and substance use challenges? California has many programs that help the state and those suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. I believe we can help the taxpayers with subsidies or having the private sector compete for contracts. MORE
    Will you commit to embracing behavioral health as a public policy priority? My number one priority is the safety and well being of our citizens of my district, state and country. We have to help those who want help and always be there for ones who may need a helping hand. The most important thing is availability and education on mental health issues, knowing that they are not alone who may suffer. Dialogue is the key to success. MORE
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    Why does behavioral health matter? Behavioral and mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing our society. It knows no ethnic, regional, or economic boundaries. Social stigmas that come with an individuals’ condition cause many to suffer in silence, and society has been reluctant to bring this issue to the forefront of public discourse. MORE
    What steps should California take to increase access to care for those with mental illness and substance use challenges? While there is no single solution to address this growing issue in our society, elected leaders can support comprehensive care programs, early education and assessment, and wraparound treatment options for those who suffer from mental health and substance abuse problems. MORE
    How can California lead the way in destigmatizing behavioral health conditions? We can elevate the conversation and discuss how common behavioral health issues are in our society. Public education and community awareness are critical. MORE
    Since first elected office, I have taken an active role in promoting and supporting sound public policy to address behavioral health problems in our community. MORE
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    Why does behavioral health matter? A 2014 federal survey estimated that 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experienced some form of mental illness; 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder; and of these, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder. An earlier report stated that 38% of homeless people were dependent on alcohol and 26% abused other drugs, and that substance abuse is much more common among homeless people than in the general population. MORE
    What steps should California take to increase access to care for those with mental illness and substance use challenges? To our collective shame, local and state prisons are now where most people with mental and substance disorders are being housed. A 2014 study by the Treatment Advocacy Center and National Sheriff’s Association concluded there are ten times as many people with serious mental illness in our jails and prisons than in mental hospitals. The largest psychiatric institutions in the United States are the Los Angeles County jails, the Cook County Jail in Chicago and Rikers Island in New York. MORE
    How can California lead the way in destigmatizing behavioral health conditions? It is high time to acknowledge that those who suffer from chronic mental illness or substance abuse are human beings just like us, deserving of dignity and respect and provided with the resources necessary to survive in our increasingly unequal society. Removing the criminal justice system as a primary treatment locale for severely disordered individuals would go a long way toward destigmatizing mental illness and substance abuse. MORE
    Will you commit to embracing behavioral health as a public policy priority? I have worked as a county mental health treatment specialist for almost 20 years with children and families. I have seen firsthand the devastation caused in my community by the previously mentioned social determinants of mental disorder and have advocated on behalf of the mentally disordered population. I am all too aware of the lack of resources devoted to both primary prevention and early intervention in this area. MORE
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    What steps should California take to increase access to care for those with mental illness and substance use challenges? Let’s make treatment more accessible so that mentally ill people who present themselves at hospitals asking for help aren’t turned away Let’s work together to integrate inpatient and outpatient treatment, so that ill people who get out of hospitals don’t need a PhD and a team of administrative assistants to figure out how to continue their care at home. MORE
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    Why does behavioral health matter? Addressing and treating behavioral health issues, including mental health, substance use, intellectual disabilities, and co-occurring disorders, provides integrated healthcare services that better promote wellness and recovery for individuals, families, and communities. MORE
    What steps should California take to increase access to care for those with mental illness and substance use challenges? Ensuring that every American has healthcare coverage is the number one thing that the federal government can do to improve access to behavioral healthcare treatment. MORE
    How can California lead the way in destigmatizing behavioral health conditions? Public education, talking openly, and compassion are some of the most effective ways that we can reduce the stigma associated with behavioral health conditions. MORE
    Will you commit to embracing behavioral health as a public policy priority? Absolutely. MORE
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