ARDI Projects & Updates

ARDI Initiative Participation and Collaboration

On January 26, 2022 chief Executive Officer Fesia Davenport sent a memo to all department heads with the FY 2021-22 Countywide MAPP goals, which included the ARDI Initiative.  Requesting each County Department confirm membership to the Equity Action Team which will be LACDMH’s ARDI Division Chief Dr. Jorge Partida del Toro, with Dr. Sandra Chang, Cultural Competency Unit Manager and Ethnic Services Manager, as backup.

  • Equity Action Team (Executive Team Leads) Executive Leadership: Dr. Jorge Partida and Dr. Sandra Chang
  • Narrative and communication: Ms. Marilynn Huffhibbler
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Dr. Rebecca Gitlin and Ms. Treva Blackburn
  • Culture and Climate: Ms. Alicia Garcia

Promotores/United Mental Health Promoters Program

The LACDMH United Mental Health Promoters Program began in 2010 in Service Area 7 as a pilot program within Spanish-speaking communities and is based on the popular education model. Popular education focuses on mutual respect for community members’ acquired wisdom and life experiences, and by virtue of being of the target community, Promoters empower participants to identify their own needs and support them as they implement their own solutions, leading to improved personal and community health. In May of 2020, the program began expansion efforts to reach other priority populations including Black and African Heritage, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, Eastern European/Middle Eastern, LGBTQ+ and individuals with physical disabilities, and was renamed Promotores/United Mental Health Promoters (UMHP) Program.

Linguistically and culturally relevant mental health services include:

  • Outreach and engagement in underserved communities
  • Educational workshops delivered through a culture-specific lens
  • Linkage and referrals


FY 2017-18   Services expanded to SAs 2 and 3.
FY 2018-19   Services expanded to SAs 1 and 5.
FY 2019-20   Continued expansion; quickly shifted to pandemic-focused services; began tracking community outreach contacts.
FY 2020-21   Developed pandemic-focused services; began participation in Board of Supervisors vaccine outreach initiatives; began multi-cultural program recruitment and expansion.
FY 2021-22   Further developed pandemic and post-pandemic services; continued multi-cultural program recruitment and expansion.
Numbers Served by LACDMH Promoters Graph

Language Assistance Services and American Sign Language (ASL)

The ARDI Division coordinates language assistance services for 23 LACDMH stakeholder group meetings. This practice facilitates the continuous participation of consumers, family members, and community members in their preferred language.

Effective May 2022, all non-emergent requests for ASL interpreter services during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays) are coordinated by the ARDI Division. To request non-emergent ASL interpreter services for a LACDMH event or activity, please email The below chart showcases the number of ASL requests made and fulfilled during the 2022 calendar year.
Chart Showing ASL Interpretation Services Provided

Speakers Bureau

LACDMH’s Speakers Bureau is comprised of approximately 75 licensed mental health clinicians with extensive media and public speaking experience, and its members are subject matter experts who are culturally competent and linguistically certified to provide services and interventions in the 13 threshold languages of Los Angeles County and more.

Below is a snapshot of their activities since the bureau’s formation in April 2020.
Graph Showing Speakers Bureau Activities by Type
Graph Showing Speakers Bureau Activities by Type and Language


Labor Management Transformation Council – Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Workgroup

The ARDI-CCU program manager is one of two chairs for the LMTC CQ Workgroup.  Members include representatives from L.A. County’s three Health Departments (Health Services, Mental Health, Public Health) and represented labor unions. The mission of the workgroup is to increase cultural sensitivity, understanding, and humility within three Health Departments to enhance the quality of interpersonal human relationships for all individuals connected to the County of Los Angeles. The focus of the workgroup for FYs 20-21 and 21-22 was on the implementation of a CQ Educational Campaign for the workforce from the three Health Departments. Campaign materials were developed to complement the Health Departments’ collective and individual cultural competence, Just Culture, and the Countywide Anti-Racism efforts.

These materials include toolkits, screensavers, a universal poster addressing four specific themes:

  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Cultural Empathy
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Cultural Humility

Cultural Competence Related Policies and Procedures (P&P)

The ARDI Division is responsible for developing and revising departmental P&P related to cultural and linguistic competence. Three specific P&Ps are under the purview of the ARDI Division.  These can be accessed at our Policies, Procedures & Parameters Hub and include:

  • P&P 200.02 – Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
  • P&P 200.03 – Language Translation and Interpreter Services
  • P&P 200.09 – Culturally and Linguistically Inclusive Services
  • Culturally Sensitive Services Parameter

The Division has also been called to review and update other key P&Ps to ensure that ARDI language (e.g., anti-racism, equity, cultural, and linguistic competence, and inclusion content) is integrated in other key departmental documents.

LGBTQ+ Workgroup

Initially established in July 2020 as the LGBTQIA2-S Specialty Care Clinical Workgroup under the leadership of the Chief of Psychology, it consisted of eight LACDMH psychologists, including the LGBTQ+ Services Specialist.  Currently, the workgroup includes LACDMH employees from all levels of the organization.  The Workgroup aims to “use our collective capacity as LACDMH employees to improve our professional and clinical environments and ensure an equitable and responsive system of care for LGBTQIA2-S service recipients, staff, and other community members.”

LGBTQIA+2S Champions Network

The ARDI Division is in the process of implementing LACDMH’s LGBTQIA2-S Champions within Directly Operated clinical programs.  The goal of this initiative is to address biases in providers and clinic staff to LGBTQIA2-S consumers and family members.  The LGBTQIA+2S Champions Network is based on the premise that health inequities experienced by LGBTQIA2-S community members can be mitigated by affirming, supportive, and culturally responsive relationships and environments, including within healthcare service provision.  Establishing access to healthcare providers with meaningful experience, knowledge, and training in affirming clinical practice with LGBTQIA2-S communities will benefit clients and providers within LACDMH.

L.A. County Women & Girls Initiative

Starting in early 2022, the L.A. County Women & Girls Initiative (WGI) began its first phase of engaging County Departments in the Gender Impact Assessment (GIA).  The GIA initiative works with County Departments to establish and work toward a five-year gender equity goal.  In addition, participating Departments will utilize a gender lens to examine executive leadership, management, and overall staff composition to generate strategies toward greater gender parity.  The ARDI Division has coordinated the formation of DMH’s cohort to participate in GIA efforts in early 2023.  Meanwhile, Dr. Rebecca Gitlin, LGBTQ+ Specialist, who is a member of the Division has been attending monthly meetings to learn about this initiative.

ARDI Events that promote anti-racism, cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion within DMH and the community at large

  • Pride Month – June 2022 (panel presentation in collaboration with the LGBTQ+ Workgroup)
  • Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and Juneteenth – July 2022 (panel presentation in collaboration with the CCC)


Page last updated: 9/21/2022