Andres Pico

I consider mental health to be a priority and a state responsibility to work closely with county and local municipalities to ensure access to mental health care is available.

In years past, the state operated a network of state mental health hospitals to handle those with severe cases.  The state funding and operations have been cut over the years to where essentially only judicial referrals for those with criminal cases can be accommodated. Others are handled through private hospitals or end up homeless or in county jails, which have become de facto mental health facilities.  This has moved the responsibility and cost to local municipalities and county governments which are not equipped or have the funds to care for mental health.

Good mental health also starts with early intervention for those who need help which could include in school counseling.

Every level of government is currently stressed financially and it will be difficult to address this issue.  I will work with county and local governments to find solutions to these issues.