It’s no secret that individuals experiencing a mental health crisis have limited options across the country. The chances of consumers with severe issues getting quality care are particularly low because of under-funding and overcrowding at Alameda County’s John George Psychiatric Hospital.

The lack of resources at John George was addressed at a special Mental Health Advisory Board meeting on Monday, November 7th at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. The Board of Supervisors, as well as mental health workers, consumers, and supporters, all came together to present findings and discuss solutions on amending the services at the facility.

Among speakers were several family members of former patients at the hospital who questioned the constant re-entry of their loved ones as a result of the low number of beds available. The shortage of resources has also led to a spike in transfers to the general emergency room with staff that isn’t fully trained in consumer rights.

After the 15-minute presentations and public commentary, the Mental Health Advisory Board held a vote on the Census Management Plan impacting John George’s Emergency Services. Community members are encouraged to stay abreast of current policies and next steps at future meetings. Active involvement enables those most affected and their supporters to get more familiar with challenges in the consumer movement and voice their concerns.