January 25, 2024

Hahn Initiative will Improve Mental Health Response and Outreach on Metro

Long Beach, CA – Today, the Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisor Hahn to improve Metro’s ability to respond to people experiencing mental health crises on the Metro system.

The motion, which was co-authored by Metro Board Directors Supervisor Solis, Supervisor Horvath, Supervisor Barger, Whittier Councilmember Dutra, and Pomona Mayor Sandoval, instructs Metro to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to provide training for Metro frontline staff, including all of Metro’s 300 transit ambassadors and over 200 transit security officers, so they are better able to respond to a rider experiencing mental health challenges. The motion also will establish priority access for Metro staff to reach the LA County Department of Mental Health’s field teams – including the Homeless Outreach Mobile Engagement (HOME) teams and Psychiatric Mobile Response Teams (PMRT)– who can respond directly to a person in need of mental health services.

“We have hundreds of new transit ambassadors and security officers in addition to law enforcement aboard our Metro system,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “With new training from the Department of Mental Health and a direct line to our mental health field teams, we can do a better job getting people struggling aboard our system the help they need and ultimately make our Metro system a safer place for all of our riders.”

“Because of this measure, when someone riding on the Metro A line needs help, we will see more resources deployed with a faster response time in our communities,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “When Metro personnel has access to improved outreach training, engagement tools, and alternative response models, we can make riding Metro buses and rail safer and better for everyone. Thank you to the Board for their partnership on this important issue.”

The new initiative was the result of close collaboration between Supervisor Hahn and Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson who have been working together in efforts to help Blue Line (A Line) experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges and connect them with housing. The Supervisor and Mayor spoke about the effort in a video recorded this morning during the Long Beach Homeless Count.

Metro’s Chief Executive Officer will report back to the Board of Directors in 90 days.

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