2020 Director’s Message

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 most need.

We envision an LA County unified by shared intention and cross-sector collaboration that helps those suffering from emotional distress and 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.

And we are intentional, proactive and “heart-forward” when it comes to how we serve residents. Please read our Strategic Plan to learn about our overall approach to uplifting individuals, households and communities suffering from trauma and mental illness in Los Angeles County.


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