Watch CBS News

Padilla announces plans for Senate mental health caucus

PIX Now noon 6/28/23
PIX Now noon 6/28/23 10:01

SAN FRANCISCO - U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla came Wednesday to the San Francisco LGBT Center to announce plans to launch a Senate mental health caucus.

The caucus will serve as a bipartisan forum for senators to discuss mental health issues and pursue legislative goals. Padilla is working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a bipartisan group of senators to launch the caucus.

Prior to the announcement, Padilla held a discussion about LGBTQ youth mental health concerns with SF LGBT Center members and San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes the LGBT Center and the surrounding Castro District.

Padilla said that "given the trauma that they might have experienced in life, given the trauma and challenges of what they experience on any given day," young members of the LGBTQ community particularly need more mental health support.

Hate crimes against the LGBT community rose between 2021 and 2022 -- up 29 percent for sexual orientation bias and up 55 percent for anti-transgender bias compared to the previous year -- according to a new report from the California Attorney General's Office.
"I think that the statistics around gay violence are important, but they're a small, really small piece, the very tip of the iceberg, of the violence that LGBTQ people face on a daily basis," said Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the SF LGBT Center.

"We need to do a better job of supporting young queer people, young trans and nonbinary people, young Black and Indigenous and other people of color," Rolfe said. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.