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Long Beach is a southern California city located on the Pacific Ocean. It is part of Los Angeles County and has a population of over 460,0001. Because of its close proximity to the city of Los Angeles, Long Beach has become famous for its presence in many films. The high schools in the area have been prominently featured in many big-screen and small-screen movies. The city is a haven for those seeking entertainment, outdoor living, and culture.

Mental Health Statistics
The California Health and Human Services Agency reported that over 6% of all adults and nearly 8% of all youth in the greater metropolitan area had a serious mental illness or emotional disturbance in the year 20002. Between 2005 and 2010, drug use was reported among 15% of adults in the region, and close to 9% reported having a substance abuse problem. For the same years, depressive episodes were reported in 5.4% of all residents during that same time period3. Throughout the county, more than 45,000 citizens entered a hospital or facility for a psychiatric evaluation or 72-hour hold during 2008 and 20094.

Long Beach Focuses on Families, Youth, and Mental Health
Long Beach residents have access to resources at both the city and county levels. Although it is part of Los Angeles County, Long Beach has its own Department of Health and Human Services to provide resources, programs, and education. The Center for Families and Youth is at the core of the department, and since 1994, the center has been helping Long Beach families improve their well-being and improve their lives through an array of outreach, community, and city programs, including Partnership for Families, Family Support Program, and Family Preservation Program.

The Partnership for Families provides home visits to pregnant women and families with small children, helping them gain access to much needed resources. Each year, the partnership helps close to 40 families in need. The Family Support Program focuses on improving families through relationship skills, goal setting, communication, and life tools. This program offers educational seminars that empower families and teach them how to reduce or prevent abuse, maltreatment, and neglect. The Family Preservation Program also provides at-risk families with support through parenting workshops, counseling groups, career training, and mental health services. More than 600 children and over 200 families benefit from this program each year5.

Long Beach prides itself on ensuring that the most vulnerable residents receive the care they need. The Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program (MCAH) intervenes directly in this regard, working closely with children, youth, and mothers from low-income neighborhoods. Case managers and independent divisions address a variety of issues, including domestic violence, physical healthcare, obesity, unwanted pregnancy, and substance abuse.

Long Beach also offers the Tobacco Education Program and encourages all residents to learn about the dangers of tobacco and how to quit smoking. Mental Health America (MHA) is Long Beach’s behavioral health outreach program, designed to touch the lives of all mentally ill individuals in the city. Through community visits, psychiatric assessment, and housing assistance, every resident of Long Beach can receive the mental health treatment they need6.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2012). State & County QuickFacts, Long Beach, California. Retrieved from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0643000.html

2 California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Mental Health. (2004). Original Prevalence Data Based on the 2000 Census Estimates of Prevalence of Persons with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) and Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Los Angeles County. Retrieved from http://www.dmh.ca.gov/statistics_and_data_analysis/docs/Prevalence_Rates/Los%20Angeles/Table1.pdf

3 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2012) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2005 and 2006 to 2010. Substance Use and Mental Disorders in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana MSA. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUHMetroBriefReports/NSDUH-Metro-Los-Angeles.pdf

4 California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Mental Health (2011). Adult 72-hour evaluations and treatments by county fiscal year 2008-2009. Retrieved from http://www.dmh.ca.gov/statistics_and_data_analysis/docs/InvoluntaryDetention_FY08-09/Rep0809_final_rev_21oct11.pdf

5 City of Long Beach, Department of Health and Human Services, (2013). Overview, center for families and youth. Retrieved from http://www.longbeach.gov/health/fss/cfy.asp

6 City of Long Beach, Department of Health and Human Services, (2013). Department overview. Retrieved from http://admin.longbeach.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=34902