COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
Department of Mental Health
550 S. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90020
William T Fujioka
Chief Executive Officer
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Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W., Director
For Immediate Release CONTACT: Kathleen Piché, LCSW
THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH COLLABORATE FOR INTEGRATED SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT SERVICES
LOS ANGELES (Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010) – The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and the Department of Public Health Services (DPHS) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 2, 2010, following the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, to facilitate the provision of integrated treatment services to individuals with substance abuse and mental illness.
Through programs operated by LACDMH and DPHS, specifically Alcohol and Drug Programs Administration (ADPA), this collaborative effort will help persons suffering from co-occurring disorders (COD) to obtain much needed services. The newly crafted MOU is seen as a foundation for the further enhancement of effective, evidence-based integrated treatment for the significant number of individuals who suffer from both substance abuse and mental illness.
LACDMH Director M J. Southard stated, “A decade of research has demonstrated that integrated treatment is the most effective approach to treating people with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. This MOU allows our departments to more efficiently build such programs.”
Although the MOU pertains only to defined operational agreements between the two county agencies, it is envisioned as a living document that will likely be modified and expanded, given the rapid pace of health systems changes at all levels. The input of community partners will be key to this work.