About the series
California has a homeless crisis that appears to be getting worse. In recent years, elected officials across the state have discussed what some believe is a possible solution: more mental health conservatorships.
But from a lack of resources and the emotional toll placed on family members and their loved ones with severe mental illness, there are gaps within the system — and not enough data to understand whether conservatorships are effective.
inewsource spent months investigating the system and spoke with nearly 40 people, including family members, advocates, health care professionals and patients who experienced involuntary mental health services. Many pointed to major problems.
inewsource investigative reporter Jennifer Bowman reported this project while participating in the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2022 California Fellowship.
With what’s known as LPS conservatorships, counties can mandate treatment for Californians diagnosed with severe mental illness who are gravely disabled. This resource guide provides more information to learn about the complicated legal process.
I spent months talking with people whose loved ones have serious mental illness. Here’s my family’s story.
An investigation into involuntary mental health treatment showed me families’ gut-wrenching pain. It’s familiar.
Imperial County reports dozens of serial holds at its mental health outpatient clinic every year, despite running at risk of civil rights violations. Other counties across the state have the same problem.
Officials have turned to conservatorships as part of a solution to the state’s homeless crisis. Those who have spent decades trying to help their loved one with a severe mental illness have largely been in support of expansion, but some advocates have concerns.
As local leaders like San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher put their support behind statewide conservatorship reform proposals, the system is struggling.