by H. Chung So, Public Information Officer
In alignment with its mission of “optimizing the hope, wellbeing and life trajectory of Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable” individuals and communities, LACDMH has begun planning the “Hollywood 2.0” pilot project to provide comprehensive, community-based care and services to people experiencing mental illness and homelessness in the Hollywood community. Since receiving the L.A. County Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval in November 2021, LACDMH has worked diligently to lay the foundation to prepare for a robust stakeholder engagement process alongside an expansion of clinical and field services in the neighborhood.
This innovative format of service delivery is inspired by the mental health care system in Trieste, Italy, which is recognized for its human-centered and hospitality-oriented approach to meeting wellbeing needs while fostering a sense of autonomy and purpose to support personal recovery. With this pilot, LACDMH hopes to transform the Hollywood community – which has one of the highest concentrations of individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness – into a new model of care and engagement that continuously engages with Hollywood residents to identify their wellbeing needs and find ways to meet them.
To support this transformative care model, LACDMH will be increasing its clinical and field-based staff – particularly in its Full-Service Partnership (FSP), Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME), and peer service programs – so there will be more opportunities to interact with current and potential clients in the clinic and on the field.
“Peer workers are particularly well-equipped to do outreach and engagement work because they can apply their lived experiences to help connect with those affected by mental illness,” said LACDMH Chief Medical Officer Curley Bonds, M.D.
Dr. Bonds also noted that LACDMH is in conversation with County agencies and partners to increase the capacity of board & care facilities, crisis residential treatment beds, and co-occurring disorder treatment programs in the Hollywood area, allowing individuals and families to access the appropriate level of care without leaving the community.
Also vital to Hollywood 2.0’s success is the engagement and buy-in of the community’s stakeholders, businesses, and organizations, who play a critical role in the recovery journey by providing additional resources necessary for wellbeing, such as stable employment, permanent housing, skills training, and opportunities for socialization and recreation.
“There is only so much progress clients can make while they are in our clinics or interacting with our staff. If we have a whole network supporting them and helping them stay in the community, there is a much better chance of recovery,” said Lisa Wong, Psy.D., LACDMH’s Senior Deputy Director of Outpatient and Community Services.
To help with the community engagement process, LACDMH will engage with the community-based organization Hollywood4WRD to facilitate regular dialogues and exchanges that will be used to develop, implement, evaluate, and modify mental health services and systems in the Hollywood area.
“We want to have the public side-by-side with us and provide input on what works and what doesn’t so we know what programs to build or change to best meet those needs,” said Dr. Bonds.
Community engagement events will be posted on the LACDMH event calendar as soon as it is announced. Hollywood-area stakeholders and organizations are invited to join to learn more about Hollywood 2.0, LACDMH’s services in the area, and to provide feedback.
For more information and updates about Hollywood 2.0, watch this Mental Health Commission presentation by Dr. Bonds and check out Hollywood4WRD’s website for opportunities to provide input on this project.