Hahn Applauds New Funding in County Budget for Mental Health Crisis Response
San Pedro, CA – Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is applauding new funding approved today in the County’s final budget for FY 2021-22 to improve the response to residents suffering mental health crises.
“We are in the process of fundamentally changing our county’s approach to responding to mental health crises, and with this budget we are taking a huge step forward,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “When someone calls for help during a mental health crisis, we need to make sure that they can get help quickly from trained mental health professionals. At the same time, we need to invest in teams of mental health professionals that can accompany law enforcement when they interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis and help to keep everyone safe.”
The final budget resolution, including supplemental changes to the County’s budget, approved today includes:
• Funding for five new Veteran Mental Health Evaluation Teams (VMET), which partner a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinician with a sheriff's deputy and respond to law enforcement scenarios involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis. These five new teams will be specifically dedicated to responding to the unique needs of veterans. They bring the total number of MET teams in the County to 39.
• An additional $20 million toward the County’s Psychiatric Mobile Response Teams. PMRT teams are unarmed mental health professionals who can be called to respond to a person experiencing a mental health crisis. The new funding will allow the program to be expanded to 24/7 operation and add more teams to improve response times. This is especially important ahead of the national mental health crisis line 9-8-8 going live next summer.
• An additional $10 million for LA County’s Crisis Call Center to help support the implementation of 9-8-8 next summer. The funding will enhance our existing call centers to provide appropriate responses to 9-8-8 callers, ranging from over-the phone suicide prevention counseling, mobile crisis response teams, and linkages to mental health and substance use services.