Barger calls for health ser­vices tracker

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Gina En­der Sig­nal Staff Writer

Look­ing to bet­ter track men­tal health re­sources in Los An­ge­les County, Fifth Dis­trict Su­per­vi­sor Kathryn Barger will pro­pose a mo­tion to im­ple­ment a new database for these ser­vices at the board’s meet­ing Tues­day.

Un­der Barger’s mo­tion, the Depart­ment of Men­tal Health would be or­dered to work with the Depart­ment of Chil­dren

and Fam­ily Ser­vices, among other county de­part­ments, to an­a­lyze the lo­gis­tics of the county im­ple­ment­ing a database to track men­tal health re­sources.

“Pro­vid­ing easy ac­cess to a qual­ity con­tin­uum of care is most eas­ily achieved through a com­bi­na­tion of proac­tive en­gage­ment and a stream­lined process,” Barger’s mo­tion reads. “Cur­rently, lo­cat­ing the most ef­fec­tive and read­ily avail­able men­tal health re­sources is a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge for both DMH and the in­di­vid­ual in need of those re­sources.”

These re­sources in­clude beds, res­i­den­tial treat­ment and board and care fa­cil­i­ties.

When some­one is held for 72 hours in a fa­cil­ity as a re­sult of a Cal­i­for­nia Wel­fare and In­sti­tu­tions Code 5150 call, they are of­ten re­leased with lim­ited op­tions for treat­ment and care, ac­cord­ing to the mo­tion.

With a database that tracks men­tal health re­sources, L.A. County could stream­line this process for peo­ple in need of help and con­nect them with re­sources for treat­ment and care, the mo­tion said.

Los An­ge­les County’s Depart­ment of Men­tal Health is the largest in the na­tion, serv­ing 250,000 county res­i­dents an­nu­ally at over 300 lo­ca­tions.

The Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vices has an on­line database sim­i­lar to the one Barger is con­sid­er­ing. Un­der the Foster Care Search Sys­tem, the county can track child place­ment, va­can­cies, re­quests, ser­vices and con­fir­ma­tion in real time.

This sys­tem has saved op­er­a­tions teams over 130,000 hours and saved about $5,204,000, pro­cess­ing over 30,000 place­ments and 91,000 re­quests, the mo­tion cited.

“Im­ple­men­ta­tion of a sys­tem like FCSS within DMH will not only en­sure that in­di­vid­u­als are given the op­tion to be ef­fi­ciently linked to mean­ing­ful men­tal health re­sources, but also help DMH op­er­ate in a more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive man­ner,” Barger’s mo­tion reads.

If the mo­tion is ap­proved, the de­part­ments will con­duct the anal­y­sis and re­port back to the board with their find­ings in 90 days.

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