Supervisors’ motion will evaluate county care of patients with mental health issues

Los Angeles County Seal.
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Furthering the county’s efforts to aid those with mental health issues, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl will present a motion on Tuesday to evaluate and improve the process to help these people.

The motion focuses specifically on the process of the responsibility given to oversee the medical and mental treatment of someone with a serious illness, or using the legal term in the motion, the “Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) and Probate Conservatorship Capacity.”

In these cases, a person in unable to care for themselves, either because of physical health issues, cognitive impairment or elder abuse, according to the motion.

“By engaging mental health experts to work with county agencies, we can improve the current conservatorship system for minors and people who cannot care for themselves due to disability or mental health issues,” Barger’s Communication Deputy Tony Bell said.

Also, the board will examine state legislation that could help enhance the county’s conservatorship process, Bell said.

If the motion is approved, the director of mental health and the director of the health agency will ask mental health experts, consumers, advocates and stakeholders for suggestions moving forward.

Barger and Kuehl ask that they receive annual reports concerning clients who enter and exit conservatorship and the work the Office of Public Guardian does with these clients.

This will include the number of clients waiting for a higher level of care, the number receiving specialty mental health services, the length of time they wait and the length of their stay in a facility.

After making the evaluation, they will devise a plan to ensure the Office of Public Guardian, investigations, court matters and hearings are more efficient.

Office of Public Guardian staff, positions, classifications and salaries will also be evaluated in order to hire and retain skilled and trained staff members, according to the motion. They will especially be looking for those who are knowledgeable about the management of forensics, correctional institutions and property and finance.

Supervisors also ask the group to provide recommendations regarding those who are “gravely disabled,” including those with a history of 5150 calls.

The group will have 120 days to complete the list of tasks the motion calls for.

Barger also recently passed a motion that would allow mental health resources to be tracked more efficiently by using an online database.

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