David Bartley may be the hardest working man in suicide prevention and also one of the most vulnerable. He has experienced both horrible abuse and deep depression and found a path forward. …


In January, Steinberg Institute Executive Director Maggie Merritt received a wrenching email. “My name is Terrance, and my boyfriend has struggled with bipolar disorder since he was 12 years old,” the message said. …


Kelechi Ubozoh spent her childhood straddling two different worlds. She spent summers with her Nigerian father in New York, where she was born, and the rest of the year in suburban Atlanta, where her African American mother worked as a doctor. In Georgia, “I just didn’t fit in,” she says…


Early last year, Lenny Mendonca was at the top of his game — an adviser and confidante to Governor Gavin Newsom and chair of California’s High Speed Rail Authority. He had influence, power and respect — a status built on years of hard work.

Mendonca had come a long way…


In some ways, Juan Acosta had plenty in common with other kids in Woodland, California, where he grew up. He had moved there with his parents from a small town in Jalisco, Mexico, at the age of 2, joining a town with a large Latinx population.

But kids of any…


Can you guess who they are?

A political power broker who fell into a deep depression — and then publicly shared his story rather than keeping it secret.

A clinically trained psychologist who decided her greatest impact would be creating policy change to help many people with mental health needs…


With pandemic magnifying need, San Francisco Democrat sees ‘enormous momentum for aggressive mental health legislation’

Democrat Scott Wiener of San Francisco is the new chair of the Mental Health Caucus in the California Senate, where he has served since 2016. …


Termed-out San Jose leader talks about his years in state legislature and the politics of mental health

Senator Beall, in a Zoom image from the interview for this story.

Jim Beall was 28 years old when he was elected to the San Jose Council. Forty years later, he’s ending his political career after 14 years in the California legislature, the last eight of them in the Senate.

Beall has made mental health issues one of his primary areas of…


Another bill aimed at boosting the California health and behavioral health workforce — and another important piece of the Steinberg Institute’s 2020 legislative package — has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.

AB 890, authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), will enable licensed nurse practitioners in California…


Monica Vera-Schubert spoke on a video conference to tell the story of her battle with health insurers and to thank Gov. Newsom for signing into law a strong mental health parity bill passed by California legislators.

When Monica Vera-Schubert’s son Bobby had his wisdom teeth pulled at the age of 15, he was prescribed Vicodin by a dentist. The next year, after a painful football injury, a doctor prescribed more, and he ended up developing a severe addiction.

Over the next several years, Bobby struggled with…

Rob Waters

I’m a journalist based in Oakland. I write about health, science, social justice, urban affairs and travel. Father of 1. From Detroit.

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