Conard House is a nonprofit that helps vulnerable adults self-manage mental illness. We need your help. Here's why:
The promises of community mental health were first made by California's public policymakers in the mid-1960s, a time of lofty intentions but limited public resources. The goal was to build or expand community services as people with diagnosed mental illnesses were being discharged from state hospitals. The good intentions were only partially realized: people were discharged from hospitals to communities as promised, but policymakers, local officials and the public lacked an understanding of the resources that were needed.
Over the four decades that followed, two fundamental promises were broken: First, the flow of public resources from federal, state and county governments to the community level was not only insufficient, but actually decreased as population and costs rose. Second, the result was that people with mental illness were simply being re-institutionalized at the community level. So-called "systems of care" became overly reliant on hospital wards, jails and the streets - each with its own high cost for the community and diminished quality of life for already vulnerable people.
Conard House was a pioneering
force in the emerging community mental health movement, forging a promise in
San Francisco that pre-dated the 1968 enabling community mental health
legislation. It currently offers supportive housing, counseling, case
management, money management, supportive employment, and other services to meet
the needs of a complex, multi-cultural community of consumers.