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Find a Therapist in Los Angeles, CA


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Los Angeles, California (LA) is one of the largest cities in the United States. With over 3.8 million residents1, the city ranks second only to New York in population. Known as a center of art and entertainment, LA is a creative mecca. Hollywood is located in the city, and actors, actresses, and artists seek fame and fortune in this “Creative Capital of the World.” Motion picture enthusiasts, organizations, and schools make their home in LA. Each year, the city welcomes thousands of spectators as it hosts the Academy Awards.

Mental Health Statistics
According to the California Health and Human Services Agency, nearly 8% of youth living in the greater metropolitan area had a serious emotional disturbance in the year 2000. The prevalence of mental illness among adults for the same year was rated at 6.4%2. Drug use among residents of the area is in line with national and state rates, with 15.4% of all adult residents reporting marijuana, alcohol, or prescription pain use for non-medicinal purposes between the years 2005 and 2010. Nearly 9% reported being dependent on substances, and 5.4% had experienced an episode of depression in the prior year3. Services aimed at identifying those in need of help for emotional, mental, or addiction issues include 72-hour psychiatric holds and evaluations, and more than 45,000 Los Angeles County residents took advantage of these services in 2008 and 20094.

Countywide Cooperative Efforts to Provide Mental Health Services
Los Angeles County comprises 9.9 million area residents in 88 cities, many with their own mental health divisions and departments; yet the county continues to make mental health and well-being of all its citizens a top priority. The passing of the Mental Health Services Act, Proposition 63 (MHSA) in 20045 was one more way in which citizens united to improve and expand mental health services. The MHSA promises to improve existing programs throughout the state and provides comprehensive mental health services that include intervention, prevention, technology, and training. The MHSA is based on a multi-year plan and Los Angeles County participates in maintaining its guidelines and forecasting future needs so that its services can be adequately developed and delivered.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) has been strengthened through the efforts of those directing the MHSA. As the largest county-based DMH in the United States, Los Angeles's DMH operates more than 175 service sites. They contract with more than a thousand mental health care providers that include social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, community advocates, psychologists, and agencies. Through their collaborative effort, those working with the DHM are able to extend the arm of hope, recovery, and ultimately wellness to those citizens most in need. Each year, the DMH is able to reach more than 250,000 Los Angeles area residents and provide them with mental health services6.

The mission of the Los Angeles County DMH is to provide the most comprehensive, competent, culturally empathetic, and non-limiting mental health services and resources to all residents, while reducing or eliminating the barriers of cost, language, and stigma.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2012). State & County QuickFacts: Los Angeles, California. Retrieved from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0644000.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 Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. (2013). Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). (2013). Retrieved from http://dmh.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dmh/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzQ0MzI0NTczN7TQj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOJdDQwM3P3dgo38XUxNDDxdXf0sfLyDDI0dTYAKIlEUuBu7ABWY-Dg7uZkABY2J02-AAzgaENIfrh-FpgTVBe4GBBSAnAhWgMcNfh75uan6uVE5bpaeWSYAW0au5g!!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80SmtFL1o2X0UwMDBHT0ZTMkczRkEwSUVEM1ROUDQxME01/

6 Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. (2013). About DMH. Retrieved from http://dmh.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dmh/aboutdmh