I have worked in the social work field for nearly 15 years, serving the most vulnerable in our community. One of the things that inspired me to run is the challenges in accessing services and resources. We often talk about the need for additional mental health services, and that is absolutely the case, but we also must address the systemic problems that often trigger or exacerbate mental health challenges.
Evidence shows that early intervention is key and I support increasing funding to our schools to allow them to provide the needed support to our children. For adults and children, I am focused on increasing access to evidence-based programs that meet the needs of our community. This includes increasing access to mental health services, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs, and programs that address food and housing insecurity. It is also crucial that we stop using our criminal justice system to address mental health needs. I am strong advocate of restorative justice programs and specialty courts that work to get people the help they need instead of strictly punitive measures. Through addressing these issues we can create a healthier society, one that lives up to its promise of “justice for all.”