San Francisco supervisors introduce plan to help with city's mental health crisis

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Two San Francisco Supervisors announced a new vision for mental health care in hopes that it will expand the city's current mental health system.

After two months of weekly meetings with the office of the mayor and the Department of Public Health, Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney announced their version of their Mental Health SF initiative.

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There are more to 9,000 homeless people in San Francisco. The city has identified at least 4,000 who are not only homeless but have a drug problem and are struggling with mental health.

"How are we helping those people now? We are helping those people by trying to get them into treatment," said Mayor London Breed and added "The medicine team that is out there on a regular basis services support, mental health stabilization beds and some of the work that we are already in the process of doing. I don't want to continue to divert resources."

Supervisors Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen say they want to expand the city's mental help aid. On Tuesday, they introduced the Mental Health SF initiative that will be on the 2020 ballot.

"It will serve patients who have severe and serious mental health illness and will serve any San Franciscan if they are very ill and on the verge of crisis," said Supervisor Ronen.

Their vision includes:

  • Street cleaning response team

  • Drug crisis response team

  • Drug sobering center

  • Office of insurance accountability


That last part is why the office of the Mayor doesn't support this initiative.

"I'm not in the business of using taxpayers dollars to subsidize private insurance companies and unfortunately that is what they are proposing to do," said Mayor Breed.

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Supervisor Haney says they want to provide help to every San Franciscan even if they already have health insurance.

"Right now we can also provide that brief care and then go after that private insurance company and to help us pay for that. That is something that we have the capacity to do and that the treasures does," said Haney.

This initiative is supported by nine of 11 Supervisors and will go in the 2020 ballot.

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