Wednesday, November 3, 2010

National Honor for Mental Health Program Assisting in Law Enforcement Calls

black and white outlineNew_County_SealCOUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Department of Mental Health

550 S. Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90020

Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W.,



William T Fujioka

Chief Executive Officer




For Immediate Release

November 4, 2010


CONTACT:  Kathleen Piche, LCSW







The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and

The Los Angeles Police Department’s SMART Program Honored

On November 9th, representatives head to Washington, DC, to show why program is successful.


Los Angeles, CA – The Council of State Governments Justice Center has selected and recognized a collaborative program, between the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), for effectively bridging the resources of law enforcement and mental health services. 


The Justice Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance have designated the LACDMH and LAPD’s own System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) as one of six national learning sites for Specialized Policing Responses:  Law Enforcement/Mental Health.  The mental health training courses and response protocols developed by this program will be made available for other jurisdictions to study and replicate in their own communities. 


SMART pairs a law enforcement officer with a licensed mental health clinician to provide field response to 911 calls and patrol officer requests for assistance.


“SMART provides a model on how to best respond to persons suspected of having a mental illness.  The law-mental health partnership is a unique and effective collaboration among two entities that serve as ‘safety nets’ for the community.  We look forward to sharing our model with police agencies throughout the nation,” said LACDMH Deputy Director of the Emergency Outreach Bureau, Tony Beliz, Ph.D.


On November 9th, representatives from LACDMH and the LAPD will travel to Washington, D.C. to share details with the Justice Center and other experts about how the SMART model works and the types of technical assistance that are provided in the field.


“Along with the Los Angeles Police Department, LACDMH is honored to receive this recognition by the Justice Center.  We are extremely proud about our relationship with the LAPD, and believe that our partnership has positively and significantly impacted our community,” continued Tony Beliz.



The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States, directly operating 75 program sites and more than 100 co-located sites.  Each year, it contracts with approximately 1,000 agencies and individual practitioners to provide a spectrum of mental health services to more than 250,000 residents of all ages.  The Department’s mission -- enriching lives through partnership to strengthen our community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency – is accomplished by working with stakeholders and community partners to provide clinically competent, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health services to clients in the least restrictive manner possible.





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