Special Coverage: Mental Health Sonoma County

The county now spends more than $71 million annually on programs to treat 5,800 people with some form of mental illness. Critics contend they do not reach enough people and have long waiting lists.
Advocates say a different model is needed, one that treats mental health patients with the same dignity afforded to patients with physical illnesses.
Jail cells have replaced psychiatric hospital beds for many of Sonoma County’s most severely mentally ill residents.
Sonoma County’s jail was never designed to house so many inmates with mental illness. A new wing, slated for construction beginning next spring, is designed to change that.
While addressing mental health on a policy level is both difficult and costly it is worth every effort, writes Assemblyman Marc Levine.
Sonoma County sends hundreds of psychiatric patients to hospitals in other counties each year. An arcane federal rule is one of the main reasons.
The closure of two psychiatric hospitals in Sonoma County has left a gaping hole in the community and created bottlenecks in local emergency rooms.
Untreated, Quoyah Carson Tehee’s schizophrenia was essentially a death sentence. His parents are angry at a mental health system they say repeatedly failed the Cloverdale man.