LETTER | KINGS VIEW BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONTRIBUTES TO MENTAL ILLNESS STIGMA, BY BONNELL KELLER

blueskymain

lettertoeditorThe Mental Health Services Act, passed in 2004, provided the California Department of Mental Health with increased funding to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults, etc.

Statistics continually prove how access to these services improve the overall well being of a community by reducing crime, homelessness, family tragedies, suicides, etc.

In recent years, the focus has turned towards providing support for peer led outreach programs to reduce the stigma our citizens experience in their need to seek out such services because such programs work.

One such program in Fresno, Blue Sky, has continually proven to been a very successful outreach service.

Unfortunately due to associated homeless client problems, which adversely affected the neighborhood, Blue Sky was ordered to discontinue offering a number of its support services to discourage people from attending its programs.

This decision was made without any involvement of Blue Sky clients, nor allowing us the more healthy alternative in learning how to address these issues responsibly.

Please be on notice Kings View (contracted through Department of Behavioral Health), you have elected to contribute to the community prejudice your clients face on a daily basis.

Signed,

Bonnell Keller

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