Former Verily leader named 'mental health czar' of California

Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Tom Insel, MD, is California's new "mental health czar" who will advise the governor on mental health issues, according to Los Angeles Times.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, named Dr. Insel to the role May 21, in connection with the formation of a task force to address the state's homelessness crisis. California has nearly 130,000 homeless people, according to Los Angeles Times. The Homeless Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force will meet periodically throughout the year in different cities, gathering input and expanding the best ideas to address homelessness statewide.

"Mayors, county supervisors and city councils around the state are working hard to reduce homelessness and its underlying causes. We'll be watching these local and regional solutions closely, to lend a hand and help them scale," Mr. Newsom said in a press release.

Dr. Insel served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, from 2002 to 2015. He led the mental health team at Verily, the life sciences division of Alphabet, previously Google Life Sciences. Dr. Insel left Verily in 2017 to cofound Mindstrong Health, a startup focused on providing objective measures to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. 

Read more here.


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