California needs facilities to deal with its mental health crisis

California needs facilities to deal with its mental health crisis

Lauren Hepler’s July 12 article on a grand jury report detailing Alameda County’s failure to meet the needs of those struggling with psychiatric issues and homelessness hit upon the origins of the state’s mental health and housing crisis: California emptied the state’s psychiatric hospitals more than 50 years ago, leaving local jurisdictions to replace them with facilities that were never built.

Given this root cause, why isn’t the state reopening or developing new psychiatric hospitals? Why isn’t such a move at least discussed as a partial solution?

Is it because it would be too expensive or politically sensitive to do so? I can’t imagine that it would be less controversial than spending $500 million a year on behavioral health services, as Alameda County does, while failing to assess the impact of the services, as Ms. Hepler reported.

So far the closest the state has come is Gov. Newsom’s proposed CARE courts, which allow for yearlong, court-ordered treatment in cases of severe psychiatric illness. The courts may offer limited help, but the larger problem will remain unless the shuttered psychiatric facilities that were meant to be replaced are restored or built anew.

Robert Selna, Piedmont

Many types of racism

Steve Koppman wrote that Ann Hsu’s remarks were not racist but simply careless, impolitic and overgeneralized “Comment on parenting and education not racist,(Letters, July 26). The trouble is careless overgeneralization is exactly what racism is.

He said it wasn’t racist because racism is believing that one race is superior to another. But racial supremacy is simply one kind of racism.

Racism is making assumptions and judgments about people based simply on their race. That is exactly what Ms. Hsu did.


And for Mr. Koppman to say that it is merely impolitic and no big deal for Ms. Hsu to say that Black parents don’t encourage their kids to do well at school — and by implication that they don’t care if their kids do well and better themselves — is a tremendous insult to every Black parent in San Francisco.

Chris Hammond, San Rafael

A defeat for global unity

Your story “Moscow to depart International space Station” (News, July 27) made for a sad read.

Misunderstanding and bickering among nations should not jeopardize this inventive quest that is bound to bring a trove of information for the benefit and enlightenment of mankind. The most prudent thing Russia could do is not to pull out of the International Space Station, but to contribute even more of its experience and expertise.

Vaithianathan Subramanian, Lafayette

Bring Griner back home

Brittney Griner sits in a Russian jail, on trial for possession of cannabis cartridges found in her suitcase, allegedly for medical purposes.

Many who commit crimes that actually harm people go free, such as the Kenosha killer and our former insurrectionist-in-chief. Yet Griner pleaded guilty in hope of a plea deal and a prisoner exchange between our two countries.

Many Americans are outraged by Brittney’s incarceration, blaming Russia, although far more are oblivious, or just don’t care. They should. We need to BRING BRITTNEY HOME!

Mitchell GoldmanRichmond

Vote or deal with it

The legislatures and governors of many states have passed draconian laws restricting reproduction choice. Fortunately, there are elections coming up in November, and again in 2024, in which the people of those states can fire those legislators and governors and replace them with people who will undo those laws. If they don’t, then they will have to live with the consequences.

Nicholas Taddeo, San Ramon


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