A reporting project that aimed to tease out the root causes of homelessness in one California community ran into a few roadblocks along the way. Here's what one reporter took away from the experience, and what he might do differently next time.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that approximately one in five state jail prisoners have a recent history of a mental health condition. Jail health care officials say that it's one in four in Tulare County. A mental health court is trying to change that.
It's been more than 10 years since Susan's adult son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. The journey to treatment has been anything but easy, but Susan has worked tirelessly to get back the son she once allowed to walk away. She calls her son her "rescued treasure."
In California's Tulare County, violence, drug abuse and sex offenses occur at alarmingly high rates. For young children in troubled families, the experience of such traumas can lead to poor academic performance, mental health problems, and criminal records. They often don't get the help they need.
Stable living environments can help those with mental health problems turn their lives around. But in California's Tulare County, health officials say all transitional housing is maxed out and patients leaving transitional facilities often have nowhere to go. Many end up in jail or on the streets.
How many mental health patients receive the care that they need? Not enough, say Tulare County health officials.