San Diego County is facing a mental health crisis. Several months ago I called for a special Board Conference with community leaders and regional partners to address the problem. The County is spending $658M on behavioral health this fiscal year but we cannot move forward in isolation, we need our community partners. Looking forward, it is critical that we begin to shift our focus towards prevention at a very young age. This conference is the asking for beginning of a deeper dive. I will be returning to the Board in December seeking support from my colleagues to further explore innovative models and new approaches to strengthen the continuum of care across our region.
The recently released 2018 report card from the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force revealed some disheartening statistics. The number of San Diegans who died from unintentional drug-related deaths rose for the fourth year in a row. Fentanyl and heroin are infiltrating our border in record numbers. At a recent news conference I announced an initiative to partner with Safe Homes Coalition and the San Diego Association of REALTORS, which has 20,000 local members. My office is contributing a $100,000 grant for a program in which Realtors and volunteers will canvass the county next April with thousands of bags that are pre-paid and anonymous. The goal is to rid homes of unused or expired prescription medications before they get in the wrong hands. The medications will be shipped to a facility where they will be weighed and incinerated. In the last few years Realtors have seen a spike in people posing as home buyers who are really there to raid the medicine cabinet. We need an army of volunteers so if you would like to join us please email my office atKristin.Gaspar@sdcounty.ca.gov. Thank you in advance!
A proud moment with my Chief of Staff, Dustin Steiner in Washington D.C. We were part of a White House conference representing California, Alaska and Hawaii. State and local leaders were invited to discuss policy issues with Secretaries of Interior, Veterans and Transportation. We also met and spoke with representatives from the EPA and USDA.
"Child saved not sold” ~ Saved In America. This is an incredibly passionate group of people working to find children tangled up in the destructive web of sex trafficking and reuniting them with their parents. Thank you Joseph Travers and Suzi Day for having me as your Honorary Co-Chair of your second annual event. So proud of the work you do for children!
Which city in the U.S. has great social services programs that can model the way? That's what our group of San Diego County leaders set out to find out when we visited some public facilities in New York and D.C. Our team met some incredible people who are passionate about what they do and the services they provide for their community. We came home with a new perspective and some new ideas.