LACDMH Launches Who Do I Call For Help? Campaign

LACDMH Launches Who Do I Call For Help? Campaign

In partnership with LASD, LAPD, LACoFD, 211, and Didi Hirsch, this awareness campaign aims to clearly define what each County resource number can provide. 

LOS ANGELES — To better inform and educate the community on the differences between the County of Los Angeles’ emergency and resource phone numbers, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), in collaboration with the County of Los Angeles Fire Department (LACoFD), Sheriff’s Department (LASD), City of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), 211 LA, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, has launched the Who Do I Call for Help? awareness campaign.

The campaign graphically and simply defines what each phone number (i.e., 9-1-1, 9-8-8, 2-1-1, and 1-800-854-7771) and its associated agency can provide when called. Materials for the Who Do I Call for Help? campaign include social media graphics, posters, bookmarks, and wallet-size cards, available in English and Spanish.

“When people are facing a crisis, one size does not fit all,” said Fourth District County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We want people to know that there is someone they can call who can step in and provide the right help at the right time. We’ve worked hard to create those pathways, and now is the time to get the word out to communities across L.A. County.”

“Through the Who Do I Call for Help? campaign, we want residents to know the County has a variety of appropriate resources available to assist in emergencies and for critical needs, especially for those who require specialized mental health-related responses,” said LACDMH Director Dr. Lisa H. Wong. “By diverting mental health-related calls from 9-1-1 to 9-8-8 and our 24/7 LACDMH Help Line, we can offer alternative crisis response services that are delivered by civilian, non-law enforcement providers.”

“Contacting the appropriate agency helps properly dispatch calls and free up first responder agencies for other emergencies and incidents,” said County of Los Angeles Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone. “As it is, our LACoFD dispatchers answer more than 449,000 calls per year through 9-1-1; more than 12,000 of those calls are mental health- related. This campaign aims to provide clarification on which number to call for assistance.”

“For many years dialing 9-1-1 has been the solution for many societal problems and emergencies. Mental health-related calls have been steadily on the rise leaving families and friends unsure of who to call when a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. “During times of mental health crises, knowing how to get in contact with the proper resources can be lifesaving. This collaborative effort connects people with the appropriate professionals because seconds count when individuals need help.”

“Working to connect our community with the most appropriate service provider is crucial for ensuring that someone experiencing a mental health crisis gets the help that best serves them,” said Acting Los Angeles Police Chief Dominic Choi. “I look forward to seeing the Who Do I Call for Help? campaign succeed. As year-to-date, we have already diverted 661 calls to 9-8-8 and our co-response program with LACDMH has handled 2,283 LAPD cases. I am confident that the program will ensure that the community receives the support they need promptly and effectively.”

“Understanding the distinctions between emergency numbers is crucial in receiving the appropriate care in your moment of need,” said Maribel Marin, Executive Director of 211 LA. “2-1-1 LA is here to guide L.A. County residents to diverse resources tailored to their individual basic needs, from food resources, utility assistance, and emergency shelter support to community services, offering 24/7 availability. Knowing when to call 9-1-1, 9-8-8, or 2-1-1 ensures you receive the proper assistance promptly, empowering communities to access appropriate help when it matters most.”

“We want to remind Los Angeles County residents that they are not alone and that 988 crisis counselors are ready to listen, without judgement, about their mental health struggles or thoughts of suicide,” shared Lyn Morris, Chief Executive Officer at Didi Hirsch. “Thank you to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health for raising awareness for 988 and these other critical resources.”

For more information and to download materials (i.e., posters, bookmarks, social media posts, etc.) from the Who Do I Call for Help? awareness campaign, please visit LACDMH’s website. A limited supply of Who Do I Call for Help? bookmarks in English and Spanish are available at Los Angeles County Library branches.


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