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Resources & FAQs

mental-illnessMental Health Information

  • One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent.
  • Approximately 60 percent of adults, and almost one-half of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
  • African American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of whites in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.

Download our Mental Illness Fact Sheet (PDF) for more information.

Facts about Mental Illness and Recovery

  1. Mental illnesses are serious medical illnesses. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence. Mental illness falls along a continuum of severity. Even though mental illness is widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion-about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans-who live with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year
  2. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers.
  3. The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.
  4. Mental illness usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.
  5. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.
  6. The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.
  7. With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.
  8. Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.
  9. Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.

More information:


Support Links


NAMI California

NAMI National

Other Resources

Department of Mental Health Los Angeles County
Office of Family Engagement/Adult System of Care
Phone: (213) 738-3948
Email: FamilyAdvocate@dmh.lacounty.gov

2016 DMH Consumer Resource Directory


Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

International Bipolar Foundation

Pacific Clinics

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Schizophrenics Anonymous

Each Mind Matters

Let’s Erase The Stigma

Project Return Peer Support Network


211 LA County


MHA Los Angeles


MHA Village in Long Beach


MHA Antelope Valley Enrichment Services


Tips on how to help your loved one from a hospital setting

Download PDF

Form to submit relevant information to DMH

Family Form MH 725

LPS Conservatorship Resources

  • California Welfare and Institutions Code for Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorship. This is the legal term used for California involuntary mental health treatment.  This is one form of treatment that may be used for individuals who have little or no reasoning ability, or who have the neurological disorder of not being able to recognize their illness and/or tend to be in and out of hospitals, jails and homelessness.  This document provides a powerful format to build a case for treatment and information for the procedure of the legal process.
  • California Welfare & Institutions Code 5008.2 states that all health care providers must take your information/report.  A back and forth dialog about the patient can only be provided after the patient signs a Release of Information (ROI) form.
  • California Welfare & Institutions Code 5358.5 oultines the process for a person who is under the LPS Conservatorship to be placed back in treatment at the discretion of the conservator.  The intent of this law is to provide for the continuum of treatment without having the patient decompensate.
  • This document is to be given to all treatment facilities placing the facility on notice that prior to administering medication, placement and treatment the facility must have the conservator’s permission.

NAMI LACC/DMH LPS Conservatorship FAQ

LPS Guidelines & FAQ’s from LAC DMH and NAMI LACC

LAPD 911 Checklists

LAPD 911 Checklist (Spanish)

LAPD 911 Checklist

A Guide to What To Do When My Family Member Has Been Arrested and Forms to Submit Medication History to Law Enforcement