San Francisco faces a moment of truth: Will the city provide treatment and care facilities for individuals in acute or chronic psychiatric crisis? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has this decision under consideration now and a vote is expected in early July.
As a result of reductions at both public and private hospitals, there are only about three dozen acute inpatient psychiatric beds in San Francisco and those are not assured in the future. Individuals in psychiatric crisis are ending up in hospital emergency departments, jail, prison – or morgues. It is imperative to have acute ward beds available for persons with severe mental illness when they are brought to hospitals, chiefly by police.
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