Thursday, March 12, 2015

Darrell Steinberg Report on California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Wrong

Darrell Steinberg and the California Mental Health Directors who distribute Mental Health Services Act funds just released their own MHSA report saying MHSA is working fine and they are doing a good job. It got press in SacBee and LA Times and others.
MHSA does help some people with serious mental illness. But following was what was left out of the report
  • 100% of the funds go to the mentally ill who are well enough to recognize they are ill. The homeless psychotic screaming at voices and eating out of dumpsters are not. 
  • There was no info about the diagnosis of those being served in the report. MHSA is legislatively limited to helping those with “serious mental illness”. The funds are going to others who are easier to serve, hence the good numbers.
  • There was also no mention of the MHSA waste and how Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability regulations divert  Prevention and Early Intervention funds to those without serious mental illness. 
  • There was no mention of oversight regulators diverting MHSA funds to their own programs.
  • There was no mention of funds being given to groups that want to sue to stop counties from using Laura's Law to help people with serious mental illness.
It is not surprising that the Behavioral Health directors who distribute the funds came up with a report saying they are doing a good job. But independent sources say that is not true. The California State Auditor report, Associated Press investigation, Little Hoover Commission, and Mental Illness Policy Org investigation all found they are not. But those organizations don't have the $11 million PR budget those who run MHSA have. How did they get the $11 million? They diverted MHSA funds to it.

Learn about waste and fraud in Mental Health Services Act at
Learn about serious mental illness at