CALIFONIA— On October 26 Los Angeles County supervisor Janice Hahn Held a news conference to announce a year long pilot program to handle mental health concerns within LA County. The city has selected five L.A. city fire stations that will have a response van.
The pilot program is expected to be in effect starting January. The city of L.A. states that the time has come for a more compassionate resource when dealing with those battling mental health illnesses. The purpose of this project would be to eliminate fire fighters, paramedics, and or law enforcement being called during a mental health crisis.
The Therapeutic Transportation Pilot Program will consist of unarmed teams put together by the county’s Department of Mental Health and will be available 24/7.
The five Los Angeles City fire stations are as listed: fire station 4 located in Central Bureau, 450 E. Temple St., fire station 64 located on 10811 S. Main St, fire station 62 West located on 11970 Venice Ave, fire station 36 located on 11970 Venice Ave in San Pedro, and fire station 77 Valley 11970 Venice Ave.
Los Angeles county board of supervisors Kathryn Barger mentioned back in 2017 that these
“outdated practices” are to be reviewed and “When someone is having a mental health crisis, the best thing to do is call for help, but we need to make sure the right help arrives.”
As of now it is required by law that those individuals that are going through a crisis that they be transported to an emergency room.
During this pilot program state law is to provide more resources and options available that will handle the process of incoming 911 calls.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stated how “Calling the police to deal with medical emergencies isn’t always the ideal match and can send officers on missions they’re not particularly trained to handle” quoted from dailybreeze.com
The trained responders will be able to decipher whither or not an individual needs to be short term stabilized or be treated at a long term treatment facility.
As the growing issue on homelessness has grown within L.A. county the pilot program is ready to be in effect as of January 2021.
Canyon News has made multiple attempts to reach out to the councilmembers in pertaining to the new pilot program but no other comments have been made at this time.