In late April, Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane traveled to Kaiser Permanente headquarters in Oakland. She was there with a group of family members who have, like her, lost loved ones to suicide despite seeking help from Kaiser.
The group met with Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson and asked him to transform the health care giant’s approach to mental health.
Zane told News Director Steve Mencher that the meeting was extremely emotional:
(Image: Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane and her late husband Peter Kingston. She recently met witth Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson about Kaiser's mental health services. She feels her husband's care was wholly inadequate and that lack of care was a contributing factor to his suicide in 2011)
In the second part of our story, Shirlee Zane discusses the responsibilities of the state and county with regard to mental health care. The problem, she says, goes far beyond insurers not living up to the tenets of mental health parity.
Read an earlier story in this series about a family seeking improvements in Kaiser's mental health services, and about Supervisor Zane's fight for changes at Kaiser.