Kaiser Permanente therapists held a one-day strike on Wednesday to protest what they said were conditions that make it difficult for children and adults in San Francisco to access mental health care services, including staffing shortages and weeks-long waits for appointments.
Chanting “What’s this about? Patient care!” a few dozen people, including psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, protested outside Kaiser’s mental health clinic on Geary Boulevard— the health system's only one in San Francisco. Several city supervisors attended, including board president Norman Yee.
“Our clinics are suffering. We are overworked. We are understaffed. And mental health is in a crisis time, certainly here in this clinic and certainly in the Kaiser mental health clinics all over California,” said James Beauford, who has worked as a clinical psychologist at the Kaiser clinic for 23 years.
“We've written letters to management. We've petitioned. We've written grievances. Kaiser is not listening. This is a last resort. Our clinic is dying,” Beauford added.