Urgent Care for People in Crisis

All photos by David Franco/Board of Supervisors

People in the throes of a serious emotional crisis can now get help at the newly opened Exodus Mental Health Urgent Care Center at Harbor-UCLA.

“It is essential that people in crisis have a place where they can feel safe and welcome, and avoid risking harm to themselves and others,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said during the grand opening ceremony. “This is a key piece of Los Angeles County’s safety net, diverting residents towards treatment and services, instead of incarceration.”

There are now six mental health care urgent centers across Los Angeles County, three of them in the Second District. Each provides stabilization services, medication evaluation and management or hospitalization. Interdisciplinary treatment teams can offer a full spectrum of psychiatric treatment services, including linkage to crisis housing, shelter beds, sober living, community-based outpatient program services, and inpatient treatment for mental health or substance abuse.

“Exodus is honored to be providing crisis services on the campus of Harbor UCLA,” said Exodus President and CEO Luana Murphy. “Since the inception in 2006 of the first Exodus Urgent Care Center in Culver City, 112,000 individuals have received crisis services with Exodus and, for some of these clients, this has been their initial contact on their road to recovery, assisting in ending their cycle of homelessness and inconsistent mental health care.”

“Since the ‘entry door’ for services was changed from the Emergency Room door to the Urgent Care Center door, a network of resources has been developed and fostered to support our clients in the community, plus our efficient intake procedure allows law enforcement to deliver clients to us quickly and return back to the community.” she added. “We look forward to supporting the Harbor UCLA Medical Center and campus  in providing very needed services.”

The Exodus Mental Health Urgent Care Center at Harbor-UCLA is a designated Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) Conservatorship, allowing the staff to evaluate and involuntarily detain those individuals determined to be a danger to themselves and others or gravely disabled.

In the last fiscal year, law enforcement brought almost 3,000 people to Mental Health Urgent Care Centers. It provided stabilization services to more than 2,000 people experiencing homelessness, and 1,000 children and young adults involved in the child welfare system.

Mental Health Urgent Care Centers across the County are relieving pressure on overcrowded psychiatric emergency rooms. During the last fiscal year, they handled over 35,000 crisis visits.
Only 5 percent of their clients were readmitted to emergency rooms or acute psychiatric units within 30 days of their visit.

Supervisor Janice Hahn, Mental Health Director Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Center for Health and Social Impact Director Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Exodus Recovery Chief Clinical Officer Kathy Shoemaker also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.