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As reported by Foxla.com and thehill.com, on Monday, the sate of California introduced the first , toll free mental health line to deliver a non-emergency assistance for individuals battling mental health and emotional welfare. The measure was announced by Assembly member Phil Ting (D), posted on his webstie While addressing general health care issues, Ting suggests that it must incorporate emotional health. He further added, that the state’s reserves will be added to the existing mental health system, to include individuals who are not at a breaking point, but still require emotional support.
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Governor Gavin Newsom (D) apportioned the sum of $10.8 million for the past three years for the installation of California Peer-Run Warm line, that will showcase non-emergency mental health assistance and provide referrals to California residents. The introduction of this line concurs directly with World Mental Health Day that takes place this Thursday. The warm line will be available from 7 a.am to 11 pm, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3 pm on Saturdays, and 7 am to 9 pm Sundays. San Francisco had developed a comparable line in 2014. The main intention is to have the line available 24 hours. Statistic showing that approximately twenty percent adults in United States suffer from some form of mental health issues every year, date provided by Mental Health America.
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A segue back to mental health history
For over forty the state of California had struggled to provide mental health support, as the community clinics cut their funds to provide much needed care for individuals suffering with mental health issues. Even after the Mental Health Service Act passage was introduced as a Proposition 63, there are still many ongoing challenges that are facing the sunny state. Most pressing issue is mentally ill homeless, that are not only the topic of main concern of multiple communities, but had become epidemics through out the state. California crisis with mental illness resembles the shift from medical to community base setting across the board. More often then not, the non-medical centers can not provide an adequate care the patient needs, which leads to relapses, drug use, and addictions.
The first dedicated asylum at Napa State Hospital, mirrored a Victorian era model bursting with large buildings, country site and fresh produce. It was believed that such setting is favorable to treat and address patients with psychological problems. However, the large facility became overflowed with multiple patients , and becoming completely independent and self -sustaining. Due to an overclouding these hospitals started to lose their credibility, and were often known for neglect and patient abuse. Over the years, the main method for treatment of mental illness had been experimentation with excessive therapies, lobotomy, straight jackets, and much disputed electroconvulsive therapy. New vigorous efforts were introduced for community based method, strongly relying on drug therapy (such as Thorazine) has the effects of calming the individual with mental illness, in combination with outpatient therapies, allowing them the ability to perform and navigate within the society. Some people do not agree with community based services, deeming them unfit to address multiple mental health issues. Mental health professionals put too much confidence in the tranquilizers such as Thorazine to treat mental illness.
Today, in California ran hospitals, most of patients treated there are ordered by civil and criminal courts actions. Further more, the mental assistance offered through the sate services differ from every city and county, deeply rooted in sufficient findings available for each individual service.
Mental illness still permeates the communities in California, and many people still not only battle their mental health issues, but also presented with challenges to find appropriate assistance and treatment. We will remain hopeful, that with findings and state-wide support, most effected individuals and their families will have a silver lining in the near future.
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