June 25, 2017

Dear Editor,

Darrell Steinberg and Dr. Carter correctly note that 20% of the almost $2 billion raised by the Mental Health Services Act ($400 million) is already required to go to Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) services. As Darrell Steinberg said when lobbying for that program, “We can’t prevent certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but we can prevent them from becoming severe and disabling.” That’s what PEI funds were supposed to do.

As the state auditor, two little Hoover Commission reports, the Associated Press and Mental Illness Policy Org have all revealed, that didn’t happen. Programs to improve grades, eliminate divorce, improve job prospects, reduce bullying, gain comfort with sexual identity, and teach art are all being wrapped by counties in a mental health narrative so PEI funds can be diverted to them. So rather than create yet another tax-payer fund “that gives counties financial incentive to infuse far more resources into early intervention for psychosis and serious mood disorders,” why don’t we first ensure that the original $400 million already allocated to that purpose achieves it?

DJ Jaffe

Click on this link to see Insane Consequences on Amazon:
Author, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones.