Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) Homeless Services Bureau is now offering evening mental health therapy programming for people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach, including those who are unsheltered and those staying in congregate or non-congregate shelters in Long Beach. This new offering is in addition to existing mental health services currently offered during business hours and includes scheduled 45-minute phone therapy sessions, available weekday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.
“We know many people experiencing homelessness are in need of some form of mental health support,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Everyone deserves an open path to access and receive mental health services, and these evening services will further support our efforts in bridging the service gap for these community members.”
People experiencing homelessness, sheltered or unsheltered, can schedule a 45-minute phone therapy session with licensed and associate mental health clinicians by completing a form online at http://www.bit.ly/MentalHealthEveningsLB, at the Multi-Service Center or directly through their case manager.
The Homeless Services Bureau and City partners participating in the program are promoting this free mental health service to community members experiencing homelessness through outreach, on-site shelter care teams and Multi-Service Center case managers.
In addition to the evening phone therapy sessions, the City continues to identify ways to expand mental health services to sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. According to the City’s Point-In-Time Count conducted on Jan. 26, 2023, 34.7% of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness reported having a serious mental illness, and 31.8% report having a substance use disorder. Enhancing equitable access to mental health services is crucial.
The City is taking a number of other steps to increase access to mental health services for people experiencing homelessness, including convening a mental health advisory group; increasing access to physical and mental health services for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness by adding a third REACH team with extended hours; deploying a mobile therapy van with a mental health clinician and a substance use counselor to engage people at encampments, provide short-to medium-term therapy and allow people to access longer-term treatment services for mental health and/or substance use; and pursuing opportunities to support the addition of specialized beds for recuperative care and step-down following behavioral health hospitalization.
For more information on the City’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, people may visit longbeach.gov/homelessness and follow @lbhealthdept and @longbeachcity on social media and follow the hashtag #EveryoneHomeLB.
By City of Long Beach Joint Information Center