Message from the Director

Optimizing Hope, Wellbeing and Life Trajectory

Our mission at DMH is to optimize the hope, wellbeing and life trajectory of Los Angeles County's most vulnerable through access to care and resources that promote not only independence and personal recovery but also connectedness and community reintegration.. We prioritize populations suffering from or at high risk for developing serious mental conditions, especially those without a stable place to live or a loving support system. Highest priority is afforded to individuals struggling for safety, security and stability in the foster care system, subsisting in the streets and shelters, languishing in the criminal justice system or frequenting ER's and inpatient hospitals.


We pursue our mission with a wide range of deeply committed partners who help guide, complement and supplement our efforts including not only fellow County departments but other government entities at the local, state, and federal level, consumers, families, advocacy groups, as well as a vast network of providers, numerous academic institutions, the media, and the private sector including philanthropy and the entertainment industry. It is only through collective efforts across the region and beyond that we can dismantle cultural barriers, coordinate pathways of access that are easily traversed, and embed enough quality resources in communities for those in need the most.


We envision an LA County unified by shared intention and cross-sector collaboration that helps those suffering from serious mental illness heal, grow and flourish by providing easy access to the right services and the right opportunities at the right time in the right place from the right people.


We are committed to the strategic and disciplined use of available resources to achieve these goals by emboldening outreach and engagement methods, streamlining systems of access to care, expanding holistic paradigms for healing, and sustaining contact with those we serve for as long as needed. Selected current tactics for uplifting the individuals, households and communities suffering from the direct and indirect impact of mental illness in Los Angeles County include:


  1. Building access networks to bridge resource gaps in the community through a continuum of outreach, engagement, navigation & advocacy initiatives with major peer involvement;
  2. Leveraging the child welfare and foster care system as well as school districts to identify those at high risk of developing, and prevent common traumas that fuel, mental illness;
  3. Increasing the availability of effective care by expanding the distribution and current capacity of evidence-based treatments, intensive support services and enriched housing;
  4. Developing new paradigms for healing to augment those in place, including not just innovative treatment-oriented approaches but also novel, welcoming platforms for service delivery and dignified, nurturing environments for intentional, and purposeful living and;
  5. Maintaining relationships with those we serve though programs that rely upon human (including peer) connectivity to improve long-term success and accountability.


Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Los Angeles County
Department of Mental Health


Director of Mental Health Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Deputy Director of Mental Health Robin Kay, Ph.D.

Medical Director Roderick Shaner, MD

Executive Management Team

Related Information

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)

Prevention & Early Intervention
Phone: (213) 251-6712
Fax: (213) 252-8749

Contact Mental Health Commission
Fax: (213)738-2120
We are located at: 550 South Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Commission Contacts
Executive Assistant
Commission Staff
     Canetana Hurd, MBA
     Valeria Maldonado, SPWI