SAN JOSE SPOTLIGHT: Lawmakers say Santa Clara County is in a mental health crisis

Two local lawmakers say there’s a crisis happening with mental health and substance abuse in Santa Clara County—and they want local government to start addressing it.

At a joint news conference Monday, Supervisors Susan Ellenberg and Otto Lee announced their intention to proclaim mental health and substance abuse as public health crises at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Also in attendance was Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen Manley, who pioneered one of the country’s first the behavioral health courts, as well as Momentum for Health CEO David Mineta and Santa Clara County board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) member Frank Alioto.

The proclamation is part of a referral to the board requesting a series of studies over the next three months. The referral does not propose specific funding or legislation to combat the problems. Instead, it outlines a process for establishing a comprehensive treatment plan to be presented to the board by April.


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