Resolution 2004-01 - Opposing Implementation of AB 1421


Resolution #2004 - 01

WHEREAS, there is a severe shortage of available mental health services in the City and County of San Francisco; and,

WHEREAS, the Mayor's Disability Council received expert testimony citing studies affirming the effectiveness of appropriate and voluntary mental health services; and,

WHEREAS, the Mayor's Disability Council received testimony from mental health consumers that they preferred voluntary services, as opposed to involuntary treatment; and,

WHEREAS, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, in place since 1967, already provides for both involuntary inpatient and outpatient treatment; and,

WHEREAS, the requirement of AB1421 to provide housing is a major obstacle to implementation, and the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act allows people to remain in the community where they can maintain housing; and,

WHEREAS, a California Department of Mental Health study found that 55% of mental health consumers studied reported that fear of forced treatment caused them to avoid all treatment for psychological problems, because it undermines the development of a therapeutic relationship, and because they feared side effects of psychotropic medication; and,

WHEREAS, voluntary, community-based treatment has been proven effective and has yet to be adequately funded; and,

WHEREAS, the Behavioral Health Court exists to assist those people with mental health disabilities whose behavior brings them into the criminal justice system; and,

WHEREAS, the cost of implementing AB1421 would be extremely high, and would necessitate the increase of court-related personnel including law enforcement officers and certification hearing officers, and would require adequate resources for housing; and,

WHEREAS, San Francisco's AB2034 program is effective in lessening the number of days its clients spend in jails and hospitals, reducing homelessness and increasing employment of its clients; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Mayor's Disability Council opposes the implementation of AB1421 by the City and County of San Francisco because it would be neither practical nor effective in dealing with the issues it purports to address; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor's Disability Council reaffirms its previous resolution (November 2001 - Resolution #2001-05) urging the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to increase City funding for voluntary programs and community-based services, rather than involuntary treatment.

January 16, 2004 Mayor's Disability Council – ADOPTED

Ayes: 8 – Norma Block, Ed Evans, Jack Fagan, Eugene
Flannery,Elizabeth Grigsby, Michael Kwok, Jul Lynn
Parsons, Denise Senhaux
Nays: 0

Absent: Vincent Behan, August Longo, Ruth Nunez