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LA County Supervisors Ramp Up Support For Project To Help People Living With Mental Illness In Hollywood

The intersection of Hollywood and Highland is busy with cars and pedestrians. A red street light is seen in the distance. Signs for retail stores like the Gap line the street, as well palm trees.
Hollywood & Highland | Photo by therealquarrygirl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
(therealquarrygirl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr)
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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with a new pilot project called Hollywood 2.0 that aims to help people living with a serious mental illness get care within their own community.

Why It Matters:

The county estimates that the Hollywood 2.0 Pilot Project could serve some 4,000 people in the Hollywood area, including people who are unhoused and living with a serious mental illness.

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Part of the goal is to divert people living with mental illness from psychiatric emergency rooms and in some cases, county jail.

Project organizers are also exploring establishing a club house, or according to the county motion: “a welcoming physical space where community members can meet and engage in therapeutic activities (e.g. employment and educational programs or relationship building).”

The Backstory:

The county Department of Mental Health received a $116 million grant from the state to test the project for five years. The plan is to set up urgent care centers, hire fieldworkers and even provide what’s called a peer respite center, where people can stay for several days and find support with their mental health.

What’s Next:

The Board action Tuesday will allow the county Department of Mental Health to hire more full-time employees to staff the pilot.

The approved motion also calls for collaborating with the city of Trieste, Italy, to better understand and possibly incorporate some of their mental health care model, which has been lauded by experts as a more effective system.

Organizers hope Hollywood 2.0 will fully launch in a year or so.

Go Deeper: 'This Place Is Just Peace': Finding A Mental Health Respite Through Peer Support

What questions do you have about mental health in SoCal?
One of my goals on the mental health beat is to make the seemingly intractable mental health care system more navigable.