Governor Newsom Convenes CARE Court Roundtable at Napa State Hospital Highlighting Framework to Help Californians with Severe Mental Illness 

Provides earlier, desperately needed help for individuals with severe schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders

NAPA – Governor Gavin Newsom today convened a CARE Court roundtable at Napa State Hospital alongside Californians who could benefit from the new framework, medical professionals, service providers, and elected officials to discuss his new CARE Court proposal.

The Governor visited one of California’s five psychiatric state hospitals to highlight the current status quo which provides quality treatment for individuals dealing with severe mental health disorders, but too often only after a criminal justice intervention or conservatorship, and more often in locked facilities. CARE Court is a paradigm shift; it focuses on providing individuals with mental health and substance use services before they end up cycling through prison, emergency rooms, and encampments. CARE Court prioritizes the sickest Californians, helping many who live on our streets without shelter or medical care.

“CARE Court provides a new path forward, bringing treatment outside the walls of our psychiatric hospitals and prisons to community-based mental health providers who can treat Californians in desperate need of help,” said Governor Newsom. “Too often, our current system provides services only after an individual has become entangled in our criminal justice system, leaving many family members feeling helpless to intervene when a loved one is struggling to address serious mental health issues. What we are proposing will enable us to act earlier, and get people on the right track before it’s too late by getting them the support they need.”

Click here for b-roll of the Governor’s visit.


Governor Newsom convenes CARE Court roundtable at Napa State Hospital

Governor Newsom convened today’s roundtable at Napa State Hospital, which provides treatment for people living with serious behavioral health conditions. Many of those receiving care at this facility have been assessed to be seriously mentally ill and unable to stand trial in criminal court proceedings. Today’s meeting is part of a series of gatherings throughout the state with the Governor and Administration officials to bring together impacted Californians, health care providers, first responders, outreach workers, representatives from the courts, local officials and other stakeholders.

Governor Newsom was joined at today’s roundtable by impacted Californians, Department of State Hospitals Director Stephanie Clendenin, Department of State Hospitals Medical Director Dr. Katherine Warburton, Senator Bill Dodd, Senator Thomas Umberg, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Napa Mayor Scott Sedgley, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos, Napa County Health and Human Services Agency Director Jennifer Yasumoto, Steven Boyd, Clinical Director to Napa and Sonoma Programs at the Progress Foundation, and health care and service providers.

“Right now, we have a fragmented system that does not deliver fast enough on behalf of enough people to be responsive to the suffering that we see on our streets,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We all need to come to a place where we say loud and clear that bringing people indoors and giving people the help that they need is essential. We need to support this proposal to hold government accountable to providing the treatment so many on our streets desperately need, and we need to continue to build the mental health system that was promised 55 years ago.”

“Napa County is grateful to Governor Newsom and his team for taking the time to visit our community to receive stakeholder input on the CARE Court framework,” said Napa County Health and Human Services Agency Director Jennifer Yasumoto. “We look forward to building upon our successes serving and engaging persons with behavioral health needs, and this is a critical opportunity to provide input on local considerations and infrastructure as the State builds out this framework.”

CARE Court, which must be approved by the Legislature, would allow courts to order CARE plans, which would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment to the most severely impaired and untreated Californians and hold patients accountable to following their treatment plans. The framework will provide an opportunity for a range of people, including family members, first responders, intervention teams, and mental health service providers, among others, to refer individuals suffering from a list of specific ailments, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services. These include short-term stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services, including a housing plan.

CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14 billion multi-year investment to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots and nearly $10 billion annually in community behavioral health services. The Governor’s approach focuses on quickly rehousing unsheltered individuals with behavioral health issues, all while new units come online, while also transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people struggling the most.

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