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As counties set up new mental health courts, people with mental illness face a broken system

Melanie Klinkamon said she finds herself hoping that her daughter will break her foot. Klinkamon, a West Sacramento resident, said she wants what’s best for her adult daughter who has a severe mental illness and has cycled through hospitals and jail but often disappears as soon as she’s released. If she breaks her foot, Klinkamon thinks, she won’t be able to run away as easily.

I’m the last person there to help her,” Klinkamon said. “It’s a mother’s love, I will never give up.

Elizabeth Kaino Hopper, left, speaks with daughter Christine, right, during a rally in support of California’s CARE Court in Sacramento on Feb. 14, 2023. Lam/The Chronicle

Medical documents viewed by The Chronicle show that Klinkamon’s daughter has been diagnosed with severe mental illness and has been hospitalized multiple times. In December, she was placed in a guardianship in Yolo County that will end next month, according to an order filed in Yolo Superior Court. Klinkamon worries that once the conservatorship expires, she’ll lose her daughter again.

Feb. 15, 2023Updated: Feb. 15, 2023 9:15 a.m.


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