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Experts Raise Alarm About Looming Coronavirus Mental Health Crisis

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Calls for information and referrals to the L.A. County Department of Mental Health were up more than 20% in March and April compared with the same months last year.

Some advocates worry it’s only the beginning.

At the same time the virus is causing more people to seek psychiatric help, the state’s prisons and jails are releasing thousands of inmates, many of whom have mental health issues.

We spoke to Michelle Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California:

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“We are really concerned that in parallel with the public health emergency we have an emerging and significantly larger behavioral health crisis brewing across the state."

State Sen. Jim Beall, chair of the Select Committee on Mental Health, agrees.

“We should look at it as a public health crisis that’s within a crisis,” he said.

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