San Francisco

SF Mayor Breed Announces Backing for Mental Health Plan to be on 2020 Ballot

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on Tuesday that she's backing a comprehensive health care plan for homeless people suffering from mental illness that will be placed on the March 2020 ballot.

The plan, called UrgentCareSF, is being run by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and seeks to provide immediate treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders for some 4,000 homeless San Franciscans ready to receive treatment.

The program has already been launched and is currently serving some 230 patients, according to Breed.

The mayor said that while she's already introduced legislative framework for the Board of Supervisors to approve UrgentCareSF, she's also submitted a ballot initiative just in case it doesn't move forward in City Hall. The ballot initiative could be withdrawn at anytime within the next six weeks.

UrgentCareSF is set to be on the same ballot as a separate mental health treatment plan backed by Supervisors Hilary Ronen and Matt Haney called Mental Health SF.

Ronen and Haney's plan, first announced back in May, would not only provide treatment, it would also create a new office of insurance accountability to fight for patients to receive mental health care and recoup funds for emergency city services.

Mental Health SF would also create a clinically trained street crisis team who would focus on people suffering from a mental health crisis on the streets.

In addition, a 24-hour drop-in center would have access to psychiatrists and medication for anyone who needs it, regardless of their insurance, and also be equipped with a sobering center for people suffering from drug or alcohol withdrawal.

In addition to providing health care, Breed's plan will also provide housing options for people exiting treatment services in order to support them in their recovery.

Supervisors are scheduled to hold a public hearing on Mental Health SF at a Rules Committee meeting on Oct. 30.

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