An article I wrote for the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Newsletter – Read the article below or here.
On behalf of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) and the Psychiatric Occupational Therapy Action Coalition (POTAC), I attended the California Coalition for Mental Health (CCMH) meeting that was held on March 20, 2012 in Sacramento, CA. Below is an overview of the meeting.
After Peter Schroeder, CCMH president, welcomed the members and the minutes from the January 25, 2012 meeting were approved, the CCMH treasurer reported that the organization planned to contribute to Sacramento Advocacy Day on March 28, 2012, they welcomed the California Elder Mental Health and Aging Coalition as a new member, and voted regarding the Racial & Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition (REMHDCO).
Mark Stivers, consultant, Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, was a special guest who spoke about Senate Bill 1220 (DeSaulnier & Steinberg) along with Steve Shea. Senate Bill 1220, Permanently Funding the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization (HOMES) Trust Fund, was introduced on February 23, 2012 and would impose a $75.00 fee on every real estate document recorded. If approved, the monies from this fund would be used to build housing for low to moderate- income households.
Another special guest was Emily Harris, statewide coordinator, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB). She reported that the Supreme Court ordered the prison system be reduced and as such the State of California has shifted realignment to the county level. CURB’s role is to reduce the number of prisons as well as the overall prison population.
A vacancy on the CCMH Executive Committee was filled by Amanda Levy from the Calfiornia Psychological Association after a vote by the members.
A report card of the counties was distributed indicating that the following counties ‘passed’ by “Reducing their jail population and providing programming and alternatives to incarceration:” Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, domestic violence support funding had been decreased and, subsequently, when abused women defended themselves they were deemed violent; hence, there has been an increase in the number of women admitted to prison.
Disability Capitol Action Day was May 30, 2012. CCMH’s role will be to educate about mental health issues and work to decrease the stigma often associated with mental health issues.