ONR 12-30-20: LA County steps up for residents needing mental health and dental services

By ONME Newswire

Producer host Julia Dudley Najieb features experts from LA County who detail the services available for mental health; especially for the undocumented population. Many people are suffering from the mental anguish of joblessness, homelessness, and the many COVID-19 related deaths.


LA County residents can apply for benefits at any time at: https://dpss.lacounty.gov/en/customer-service.html or by phone (866) 613-3777 during the call center’s newly expanded hours: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri. and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sat. Call agents speak up to 10 languages People can call to see what services they are qualified to benefit.


Here is more about the resources and the background of the experts:



Anna Gorman, MPH, Director of Community Partnerships & Programs, LA County Department of Health Services (DHS); she talks about the "My Health LA“ which fills the gap for the low-income and uninsured and uninsurable residents of LA County 26 years and older.


"Hospital admissions have doubled in the last few weeks...this is what it looks like: long waits in the ER, long waits to get offloaded from an ambulance, redeployed nurses, new areas for treating patients, record deaths, dwindling numbers of staff to ICU beds, cancelled surgeries," said Gorman.


"If you are not having an emergency, don't go to the emergency room. People can reach their doctors by phone now."


Testing kits can be mailed to homes, according to Gorman, who also said they are starting mobile testing in the Antelope Valley.


Their office also put lawyers in health clinics to help those patients deal with legal issues that affect their health: domestic violence, housing, evictions, benefits problems. They lawyers work very closely with the doctors.


Gorman said the program, "My Health LA" (MHLA) fills the gap for the low-income and uninsured and uninsurable residents of LA County 26 years and older. MHLA is not health insurance; it is funded by the LA County Board of Supervisors and the Dept of Health.


Gorman said the program does not ask for immigration status; they get a card so that they can profit from the benefits: medications, basic labs, some durable medical equipment, dental care at some sites, substance abuse treatment, urgent emergency care, mental health care and prevention.


"'My Mental Health LA' program has received five million dollars from the Dept. of Mental Health to help people with coping skills during the pandemic--there is so much stress ( lots of death, job loss, homelessness,)" explained Gorman


To find a "My Health LA" participating clinics, call 844-744-6452 or visit online www.dhs.lacounty.gov/MHLA



Miriam Brown, Deputy Director, Department of Mental Health (DMH) talks about the importance of tending to mental health during this pandemic and the services available right now. The department’s access line is (800) 854-7771. They also have providers for children too, no insurance needed, documented status not important


Brown said she is most concerned about children, whom she is seeing an increase of suicide, depression, anxiety; if they usually get mental health services at school, well, now they do not have that option.


She encouraged the public to call them, get help if your feeling down or hopeless; they have the services to help LA County residents.


Sherri Cheatham, is the chief of Medi-Cal and In-Home Supportive Services for the Department of Public Social Services. She urged people to still apply even if they think they will no qualify; there are other services that they may be eligible for out the CARES Act. Callers can apply for benefits at any time at: https://dpss.lacounty.gov/en/customer-service.html or by phone (866) 613-3777 during the call center’s newly expanded hours: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri. and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sat. Call agents speak up to 10 languages.


She said, DPSS had helped more than 3.2 million Angelenos with Medi-Cal benefits including “outpatient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, preventative and wellness care, chronic disease management, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, prescription services and dental services.”


"MediCal is one of many services," said Cheatham. "Do not assume that you do not qualify, apply."


May not need medical right off the back; there are other services under the CARES Act and other relief programs.


(See full video excerpts above.)


Dedicated listeners, viewers and followers can find past ONR news producer, Dudley Najieb's weekly podcasts, The ONME News Review - News Too Real here.


Each week host Dudley Najieb broadcasts show News Too Real live under the ONME News Review, which distributes its original podcasts through The ONME Network and various third-party locations: watch her on the ONME Podcast Network at ONME TV Channel; listen via several external audio podcast outlets including: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Castbox, Deezer, Podcast Addict, JioSaavn, Podchaser, iHeartRadio, Listennotes.com, and Spreaker; OTT apps Roku and Amazon Fire, and offline via cable TV. Audio podcasts are also available on the ONME News website.


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