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2023-24 Clark & Myrick

About the 2023-24 Heumann Community Partnership

Since Fall 2023, Dr. Clark and Keris have been having conversations focused on the chasms in the care continuum. They each bring unique perspectives based on their areas of expertise and lived experiences.

Dr. Clark and Keris serve as members of the Board of Directors for Disability Rights California, one of four protection and advocacy agencies designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. Dr. Clark approached Keris about the Heumann Lab since Keris is someone whose personal experience with the intersections of mental health and disability rights advocacy could augment Clark’s own knowledge about approaching the intersection of legislation, policy and disability rights. Keris, a leading mental health advocate and executive, values this opportunity of knowledge-making with Dr. Clark, and UCLA, and co-designing a project with people who have lived experiences of mental health conditions and those in academic settings. 

Partnership Focus

Dr. Lauren Clark and Ms. Keris Jän Myrick are discussing the history, trajectory, and stigma surrounding psychiatric disability, the chasms in the carework web, and how to navigate climbing out of and closing the chasms. Dr. Clark and Keris will develop a series of podcast episodes focused on the gaps or chasms in the mental health care continuum that impact providers, services and driven by structural barriers such as federal, state and local policies.

During the fall 2023 and winter 2024, Dr. Clark and Keris are exploring the following:

  • The current climate of California’s mental health service policies in the context of the California Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court, enacted in 2022, SB 43, enacted in 2023, and the newly proposed Proposition 1. Proponents suggest that use of Courts and more coercive means to providing treatment to those at the intersection of “serious mental heath” conditions, subsutance use disorders and homelessness is a humane approach to meeting their needs. Opponents to these policies however suggest that these new policies advance coercion, thus impinging on autonomy, infringe on people’s rights and perpetuating existing disparities for communities of color
  • The limitations of current policies do not promote prevention, community based support and early interventions
  • How and what are the differing viewpoints about what to be done to support people with complex needs that live with psychiatric disabilities
  • How intersectionality need to be considered in psychiatric care and supports
  • Understand the use of coercion, incarceration, hospitalization, employment, substance use, and housing, and its impact on how individuals receive the care to eliminate the chasms
Banner for Unapologetically Black Unicorns Podcast

Unapologetically Black Unicorns (UBU)

Keris and Dr. Clark are developing a series of podcasts for “Unapologetically Black Unicorns” (UBU) that will explore the chasms in the careweb for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.  The podcasts are expected to be released in late Spring 2024.

UBU Suggested Listening

CARE Court

 Chasms in the Continuum of Care for People with Psychiatric Disabilities