Fri, Apr 28|
CARE Court Hearing: New Hope for Seriously Mentally Ill
Support CARE Court and its community-based approach to treating those with serious mental illness (SMI). Listen to the hearing and provide Public Comment to the Committee members and the Department of Public Health officials accountable for implementing CARE Court.
Time & Location
Apr 28, 2023, 10:00 AM
About the Event
On Friday, April 28, a Committee of the Board of Supervisors is holding a hearing with the Department of Public Health for a briefing on SF’s implementation of CARE Court. Let these individuals know that you support CARE Court and its community-based approach to treating those with SMI. Send an email and/or listen to the hearing and provide Public Comment to the Committee members and the Department of Public Health officials accountable for implementing CARE Court. Send in an email to the Mayor and Supervisors.
We need your help to get those suffering from serious mental illness and homelessness into effective treatment. Speak out to support San Francisco’s implementation of CARE Court, an innovative program to get the most seriously ill into treatment, by emailing our supervisors and City public health officials.
Your support will ensure San Francisco is prepared to provide these vital supportive services and to ensure those suffering from serious mental illness are not languishing, unsheltered and untreated, on our streets, by the Court's October 1 launch date.
An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 homeless people in San Francisco are experiencing mental illness (often combined with substance use disorder.) Among them, nearly 800 have a serious mental illness - SMI (schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder.) We have all seen people in full psychosis engaging in irrational and dangerous behavior – wandering in traffic, screaming at invisible demons, or even attacking others.
SMI cannot be cured. However, it is treatable. The most successful approach is community-based residential treatment, which helps individuals with SMI continue their medication and re-learn the skills needed to live independently. Through this treatment, individuals in crisis are stabilized, transitioned to structured residential treatment, and then to independent group homes.
San Francisco has a new opportunity to provide voluntary residential treatment to the most seriously mentally ill who are unhoused. In October, our Department of Public Health will implement CARE Court, a new state program. It addresses SMI as a public health issue, not as a disease. Modeled on successful mental health “diversion” courts, the CARE Court judge meets with an individual with an SMI diagnosis to discuss a recommended Care Plan and to gain voluntary agreement to accept housing and treatment for up to 12 months. The court meets with the individual periodically to review their progress and can extend the plan up to another 12 months.