The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating programs in more than 85 sites, and providing services via contract program and DMH staff at approximately 300 sites co-located with other County departments, schools, courts and other organizations.  lac-dmhEach year, the County contracts with more than 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services.  On average, more than 250,000 County residents of all ages are served every year.  The Department’s mission — enriching lives through partnership to strengthen our community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency – is accomplished by working with stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to clients in the least restrictive setting.

Mental health services provided include assessments, case management, crisis intervention, medication support, peer support and other rehabilitative services. Services are provided in multiple settings including residential facilities, clinics, schools, hospitals, county jails, juvenile halls and camps, mental health courts, board and care homes, in the field and in people’s homes. Special emphasis is placed on addressing co-occurring mental health disorders and other health problems such as addiction.

The Department also provides counseling to victims of natural or manmade disasters, their families and emergency first responders. The Director of Mental Health is responsible for protecting patients’ rights in all public and private hospitals and programs providing voluntary mental health care and treatment, and all contracted community-based programs. The Director also serves as the public guardian for individuals gravely disabled by mental illness, and is the conservatorship investigation officer for the County.

Wellness and Recovery Outcomes

Our aim is to help our clients and families to:

  • Achieve their recovery goals;
  • Find a safe place for them to live;
  • Use their time in a meaningful way;
  • Have healthy relationships;
  • Access public assistance when necessary;
  • Weather crises successfully; and
  • Have the best possible physical health.

Service Recipients

DMH’s services to adults and older adults are focused on those who are functionally disabled by severe and persistent mental illness, including those who are low-income, uninsured, temporarily impaired, or in situational crises. Services to children and youth are focused on those who are seriously emotionally disturbed and diagnosed with a mental disorder. They include wards or dependents of the juvenile court, children in psychiatric inpatient facilities, seriously emotionally disturbed youth in the community, and special education students referred by local schools and educational institutions.

Department of Mental Health (DMH) Urgent Care

  • Psychiatric care center, open 24/7 including holidays
  • Mental health assessment
  • Crisis stabilization services
  • Psychiatric medication evaluation & management
  • Therapeutic mental health interventions & referrals

resources_07For 24/7 non-emergency info, call the LA County Department of Mental Health ACCESS Center at 1-800-854-7771. For emergency, call 911.

24/7 Helpline

Free confidential mental health information, referrals to service providers, and crisis counseling at any day or time.

Service Area Planning Map

service-planning-icon Due to the large size of LA County (4,300 square miles), it has been divided into 8 geographic areas. These distinct regions allow the Department of Mental Health to develop and provide more relevant services targeted to the specific needs of the residents in these different areas.