SACRAMENTO – Mayor Steinberg issued a call to action on Saturday seeking mental health professionals and healers to help people affected by trauma in Sacramento neighborhoods, especially in communities of color.
The shooting of Stephon Clark, a source of acute trauma for African-Americans in Sacramento, inspired this effort.
“If we can create 10 to 15 thousand hours worth of additional resources in our community, to build on what is already going on and what we know works, we can help more families,” said Steinberg.
However, at a planning meeting for the effort to get more mental health services in communities, it was repeated that the problem goes far deeper and has gone on far longer.
A problem that psychologist Kristee Haggins referred to as "racial trauma, specifically a disorder that is called, Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder or Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome."
Stevante Clark has pointed to mental illness – the trauma of losing his brother, Stephon, in such a violent and public way – as reason for his sometimes-erratic behavior in the days that followed.
Stevante said he sought mental health treatment but was eventually arrested for, according to police; threatening to kill someone, assault, vandalism and harassing a 9-1-1 operator.
FOX40’s Ben Deci asked the mayor about the incongruity of Stevante being obviously symptomatic of the mental health issues the mayor was talking about but also being behind bars instead of in treatment.
“There is a sad fact about our system which is that, in many instances, because of lack of resources and lack of coordination, sometimes the only way to get help is to hit rock bottom,” said the mayor.
Steinburg asks for mental health professionals and volunteers with a “knack for treating trauma to help “our school kids, our families and to help our families heal.”
The mayor says that volunteers will receive cultural competency training as well as be trained on how to interact with and assist communities of color.
If you are interested in being a volunteer, please click here.