California Gov. Jerry Brown has reappointed Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown to serve on the State of California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

Sheriff Bill Brown

Sheriff Bill Brown

Brown was originally appointed to the position by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2010.

Brown, who is a firm believer in the importance of addressing mental health issues, said he is honored to have been selected to serve as a commissioner again.

“Many mentally ill people who commit crimes are housed in California jails, so it’s essential that law enforcement and corrections have a voice in the discussion as mental health policy is shaped and Prop. 63 funding is distributed to counties by the state,” Brown said. “In order to protect public safety we must encourage the mentally ill to seek treatment by reducing stigma and insuring that appropriate services are made available, both within jails and in the community.

“I am privileged to continue to serve alongside an extraordinarily dedicated group of fellow commissioners who represent mental health professionals, legislators, advocates, family members and consumers as I represent our state’s 58 sheriffs and Santa Barbara County.”

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission was created as a result of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, passed by California voters in 2004.

Among the roles of the group is to oversee the implementation of the MHS Act, to help develop strategies for overcoming stigmas related to mental health, and to advise the governor and the Legislature on mental health policy. The mission of the MHSOAC is to provide vision and leadership to help ensure positive outcomes for those living with serious mental illness, and for their families.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.