Health and Mental Health Care Campaign
Our County will make preserving the health and well-being of its residents its number one priority. All Sacramentans will have the opportunity to lead healthy, thriving lives and have access to health care, including mental health care.
The Current Reality
Sacramento County sees its primary responsibility as creating public safety through criminal justice. We argue that the County can best create public safety by investing in the health and well-being of the residents of our county. This creates strong communities and supports people in leading healthy, productive lives.
While health care was restored for 3,000 undocumented immigrants last year, there are many more in need of health care access. In particular, undocumented elders over 64 are not currently eligible for County coverage, leaving them without access to health care as they age.
Mental health care resources are especially limited and difficult to access in the community. While there has been some increase in funding for mental health care, the need continues to outpace the availability of care.
Our lack of investment in mental and behavioral health means incarceration is used as a first option instead of a last resort for people facing addiction or facing violence in the midst of trauma.
Creating Change in 2016
Through our education work, we are working to expand access to mental health social workers for students in the Sacramento City Unified School District.
We are working with ACT’s Immigration Campaign to extend county healthcare coverage for undocumented residents beyond the initial 3,000 who were covered in 2015, as well as to expand eligibility to our elders by eliminating the age cap which excludes people over age 64 from coverage.
ACT leaders are working to have mental health and behavioral services integrated deeply into our county health system, so that those struggling with addiction and other behavioral illnesses have the opportunity for treatment before incarceration. Resources should also be offered to individuals upon their release from jail, recognizing that individuals with mental health issues are currently often jailed rather than treated. We advocate for increased access to transitional housing paired with mental health services to improve support for stabilization and re-entry. We also advocate for increased navigation services to connect people with mental health resources and quality treatment programs.
We have commissioned an analysis of the County mental health system and we will work to understand and expose the ways the County could save money and improve health outcomes by shifting money from incarceration to prevention, services and treatment.