More beds could make a difference
Abit of good news was reported in the Friday edition of the Antelope Valley Press. According to a report, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, to improve access to mental health treatment in Los Angeles County, by adopting a two-year pilot program to procure up to 500 beds for those in need of care.
While much focus is put on homelessness, it seems that not so much is put on mental illness, unless it results in a person becoming homeless. So the fact that Barger is pushing forward with this motion, is huge.
What will it mean, exactly? For starters, the county will be able to increase the number of treatment beds available to those in need.
It also means a higher quality of care will de available because those who need post-hospital treatment will no longer have to linger in hospitals due to a lack of options.
The program will also create a coordinated, connected and integrated network across all hospitals, whether they’re county hospitals or private hospitals.
“According to recent analyses referenced in the Department of Mental Health report, LA County may need up to 3,000 additional sub-acute, or longer-term mental health treatment beds,” according to the AV Press report. “Individuals often wait in hospitals for months for sub-acute care. Wait times for state hospital care are often a year or more.”
The motion directs the Board to adopt an Oct. 29 report and approve the “Recommendation Actions for the Board of Supervisors,” including a two-year pilot program to procure up to 500 mental health treatment beds.
“These additional beds will decrease wait lists for post-hospital care, free up hospital beds for more individuals who need them and reduce the number of individuals suffering from mental illness on the county’s streets and in its jails,” the report said.
It’s good to know that someone is looking out for the mentally ill and not just letting them wander the streets, when there is nowhere else to go. Hopefully this pilot program will work the way the Board of Supervisors envisions it will. The result should be mentally ill people who have somewhere to go for help. As stated in the report, once they have received help in a hospital, there are few alternatives for them.
Barger and the Board of Supervisors has shown great interest in helping the homeless. Now she’s come up with a way to help the mentally ill, as well.
We hope that her plans are successful, as they will benefit many in Los Angeles County and the Antelope Valley.