The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) is the largest county mental health department in the country. DMH directly operates 75 program sites and more than 100 co-located sites. DMH contracts with approximately 1,000 providers, including non-governmental agencies and individual practitioners who provide a spectrum of mental health services to people of all ages to support hope, wellness and recovery.
Our diverse workforce, including nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, medical doctors, community workers, trained family members and trained mental health consumers, serve over 250,000 residents of all ages each year.
Enriching lives through partnership designed to strengthen the community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency is our Mission. DMH works with its stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to our clients in the least restrictive manner possible. We tailor our services and support to help clients and families achieve their personal goals, increase their ability to achieve independence and develop skills to support their leading the most constructive and satisfying life possible.
Mental health services provided include assessments, case management, crisis intervention, medication support, peer support and other rehabilitative services. Services are provided in multiple settings including residential facilities, clinics, schools, hospitals, county jails, juvenile halls and camps, mental health courts, board and care homes, in the field and in people’s homes. Special emphasis is placed on addressing co-occurring mental health disorders and other health problems such as addiction. The Department also provides counseling to victims of natural or manmade disasters, their families and emergency first responders. The Director of Mental Health is responsible for protecting patients’ rights in all public and private hospitals and programs providing voluntary mental health care and treatment, and all contracted community-based programs. The Director also serves as the public guardian for individuals gravely disabled by mental illness, and is the conservatorship investigation officer for the County.
The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), created by the passage of Proposition 63 in 2004, has expanded the partnerships and capacity of the mental health system in Los Angeles. DMH continues to work with a diverse group of community stakeholders to effect the historic expansion of mental health services funded by MHSA.
DMH’s services to adults and older adults are focused on those who are functionally disabled by severe and persistent mental illness, including those who are low-income, uninsured, temporarily impaired, or in situational crises. Services to children and youth are focused on those who are seriously emotionally disturbed and diagnosed with a mental disorder. They include wards or dependents of the juvenile court, children in psychiatric inpatient facilities, seriously emotionally disturbed youth in the community, and special education students referred by local schools and educational institutions.