LOS ANGELES COUNTY – On April 4, 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s motion tasking the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to work with County Counsel in an effort to identify meaningful reforms to improve the delivery of quality and humane treatment for those who are gravely disabled and unwilling or incapable of accepting mental health treatment and care.   

The Department of Mental Health and County Counsel will present recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on the “Standard of Care” issue Tuesday during the Board of Supervisors meeting at the Hall of Administration which begins at 9:30 am.    

“Within the County’s chronically homeless population, there is a significant segment of individuals who refuse treatment – but are clearly in need of care,” said Barger.  “I strongly believe that if someone’s mental disorder prevents them from providing for their own basic needs then they are in fact, ‘gravely disabled’ and in need of treatment and care.”

As part of the process ordered in the Barger motion, DMH convened a full range of County and community stakeholders to thoroughly examine current methods of engagement, delivery of services, and related laws which empower the County to care for the gravely disabled.  As a result, DMH has developed a series of innovative recommendations that would better equip the County to deliver meaningful treatment to those in desperate need of a higher standard of care.

“The County has a moral obligation to ensure that those on our streets that are suffering from grave mental illness – who are living in deplorable conditions and unable to provide for their own basic human needs – receive the treatment and care that would drastically improve their quality of life,” Barger added.