The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), with a budget of approaching $3 billion, is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating programs in more than 85 sites, and providing services through contract programs and LACDMH staff at approximately 300 sites co-located with other County departments, schools, courts and various organizations. Each year, the County contracts with close to 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services. On average, more than 250,000 County residents of all ages are served every year.
Directly Operated Sites
Our mission 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 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.
- Integrity. We conduct ourselves professionally according to the highest ethical standards.
- Respect. We recognize the uniqueness of every individual and treat all people in a way that affirms their personal worth and dignity.
- Accountability. We take responsibility for our choices and their outcomes.
- Collaboration. We work together toward common goals by partnering with the whole community, sharing knowledge, building strong consensus and sharing decision-making.
- Dedication. We will do whatever it takes to improve the lives of our clients and communities.
- Transparency. We openly convey our ideas, decisions and outcomes to ensure trust in our organization.
- Quality and Excellence. We identify the highest personal, organizational, professional and clinical standards and commit ourselves to achieving those standards by continually improving every aspect of our performance.
Mental health services provided include assessments, case management, crisis intervention, medication support, peer support, psychotherapy and other rehabilitative services. Services are provided in a variety of settings including residential facilities, clinics, schools, hospitals, juvenile halls and camps, mental health courts, board and care homes, in the field and in people’s homes. We also provide counseling to victims of natural and man-made disasters, their families and emergency first responders.
Our 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 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 educational institutions.
The Director of Mental Health is responsible for protecting patients’ rights in all public and private hospitals, 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.
Mental Health Services Act
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.
Affiliated Departments & Partners
- California Department of Health Care Services
- Los Angeles County Health Agency
- Department of Children and Family Services
- Department of Public Social Services
- Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services
- Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
- Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles Department of Aging
- California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
- County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California