Funding For LA’s Mental Health Services

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Funding For LA’s Mental Health Services

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Good morning, L.A.

As elected officials and activists alike call for redirecting public funds away from law enforcement and towards unarmed, trained service providers, one model that shows significant promise is peer support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

At peer-run centers – which are, at the moment, few and far between in L.A. – folks who live with mental illness can show up and find resources, a sympathetic ear, or just a quiet place to decompress. My colleague Robert Garrova visited one such facility, the county-operated Peer Resource Center near Wilshire Blvd. and Vermont Ave., and discovered a welcoming and safe space.

“You don’t have to have a diagnosis to come in, we don’t ask for insurance,” said Joey Arcangel, a program coordinator at a different center. Instead, visitors can talk with providers who know what they’re going through from firsthand experience.

The model is still new, but it’s quickly gaining momentum; a bill signed into law in California last week creates a certification process for peer service providers, and could allow for Medi-Cal funded pilot programs.

Keris Jän Myrick, the chief of peer and allied health professions for L.A. County’s Department of Mental Health, said: “When I was going through crisis, I thought, Wow, that’s what I need – I need someplace that’s soothing.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, October 1

For one disabled man on the streets of Hollywood, L.A.’s homeless services system has failed. Matt Tinoco paints a portrait of how a piecemeal system doesn’t work and ends up leaving those in great need to fend for themselves.

Data collected from the census informs funding for critical programs, and undercounting can mean that some communities get shortchanged. Dana Amihere has the story of two such programs: Pell grants, and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Money Matters: The former city manager for Moreno Valley made more than half a million dollarsafter retiring. California child care providers who serve low-income families will stop receiving some state payments for families that are still sheltering in place. Fee increases for citizenship and other immigration benefits were blocked. L.A. will resume normal parking enforcement on October 15. (Sorry).

Coronavirus Updates: Over the next 10 days, L.A. County will allow some businesses to resume limited operations, including indoor malls, nail salons and outdoor gaming. A COVID-19 outbreak among Cal State Long Beach students has grown to 22 confirmed cases, most of them students who live in campus dorms.

L.A.’s Critical Services: Peer respite facilities provide short-term mental health crisis care and are mostly run by peers with lived experience of mental illness. A new law signed by Gov. Newsom increases the scope of services for nurse practitioners. Unaccompanied women are one of the most vulnerable homeless populations in Los Angeles County, and they will now be designated as a subpopulation of homeless residents.

Arrest Made: The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of a man who allegedly shot two deputies in Compton last month.

Election 2020: As young people step up to the plate, L.A. County has recruited nearly all of the poll workers needed for the November election.

Census 2020: The city of L.A. is among groups seeking sanctions against the U.S. Census Bureau, alleging that the federal government is trying to end the 2020 count early. For now, the Census Bureau will continue counting residents.

Abandoned L.A.: A new book of photography portrays L.A.’s iconic, vintage – and sometimes, abandoned – locations.

Photo Of The Day

Mothers, wives and family members of detainees at the Adelanto Immigration Detention Center rally outside the Federal Building, denouncing the “horrific and scary” conditions for their loved ones inside the facility as they begin a 5-day hunger strike.

(Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what’s coming up for today.