District Council 57

Safety Now! Becomes Statewide Movement to Reform DMH (Press Release)

Five unions representing the majority of DMH workers (SEIU Local 1000, AFSCME Local 2620, The California Association of Psychiatric Technicians (CAPT), the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA)) each sent representatives from the five DMH state hospitals (Napa, Coalinga, Metropolitan, Patton, and Atascadero) for a day of information sharing and joint
planning.

Members of the new statewide coalition agreed that most of the same problems that plague Napa State Hospital are also present at other DMH facilities in the state, and that some of the solutions being proposed for Napa should be implemented statewide. Coalition members are calling on DMH to immediately follow through on the commitment it made to hire more security and direct care staff at all DMH hospitals. In coming weeks coalition members plan to do coordinated actions across the state to address the staffing shortage and safety problems common to all DMH hospitals.

A number of meeting participants also spoke to legislators and gave testimony on DMH-related bills while in Sacramento this week. Senators Noreen Evans and Sam Blakeslee and Assemblymembers Michael Allen and Katcho Achadjian have all sponsored bills this session that, if passed, will help reverse the epidemic of violent attacks on staff and patients within the Department of Mental Health.

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