Mental Breakdown
State, county cuts devastate mentally ill

About this project

In Stanislaus County – like many counties across California -- a faltering local economy and deep budget cuts have severely reduced government’s ability to treat adults with mental illnesses. The result? A surge in the number of people with mental illness landing behind bars and in the county’s ERs. In the past six years, the numbers of mentally ill inmates in the Stanislaus County jail has increased nearly 50 percent, according to sheriff’s department data.  Around the state, many of the most seriously mentally ill inmates now wait up to six months in jail before a state hospital bed opens up.

Stories

Normalizing Mental Illness: One Mom's Hope (Multimedia)

Joyce Plis is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Stanislaus County. She works to educate the public on how people with mental illness can lead successful lives if given appropriate treatment.

Photography Gallery: Faces of Mental Illness

Everyone pictured here has a mental illness. They live in this community. A daughter. An uncle. A sister. A friend. A neighbor. A co-worker.

Authors

Lauren M. Whaley

Multimedia journalist Lauren M. Whaley is the president of the national Journalism & Women Symposium. For the Center and its partners, she produces videos, radio stories, photographs and other multimedia and written poeces. She covers topics ranging from childbirth policies to mental illness to dialysis and diabetes. She's interested in sound-rich radio stories, character-driven photography essays and everything in between. She has contributed stories to Southern California Public Radio, KQED Public Radio, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among others. While living in Wyoming, she worked as a newspaper reporter, blog editor and freelance magazine writer. She earned her master's degree in specialized science journalism from the University of Southern California, her bachelor's from Bowdoin College and spent summers in her early 20s taking high school girls on Arctic canoe expeditions. She hails from Baltimore.  

Lauren M. Whaley

Multimedia journalist Lauren M. Whaley is the president of the national Journalism & Women Symposium. For the Center and its partners, she produces videos, radio stories, photographs and other multimedia and...

Project Partners

© 2014 California Healthcare Foundation Center for Health Reporting

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