New LA mental health clinic opens

The Olive View Community Mental Health Urgent Care Center opens Thursday in Sylmar. Mental health offiicals say the center will give patients another option for treatment outside of crowded emergency rooms at local hospitals.
The Olive View Community Mental Health Urgent Care Center opens Thursday in Sylmar. Mental health offiicals say the center will give patients another option for treatment outside of crowded emergency rooms at local hospitals. Ashley Bailey/ KPCC

A new Los Angeles County mental health facility opened Wednesday in Sylmar. The Community Mental Health Urgent Care Center is on the campus of Olive View medical center.

The center's social workers and medical staff are expected to serve about 5,000 people a year.

L.A. County Mental Health Director Marvin Southard says patients will be evaluated for common crisis issues ranging from relationships to substance abuse.

“They get the services they need to stabilize their situation, and their family situation, without adding the cost or the stigma of a psychiatric hospitalization. In the meantime, we'll open up inpatient psychiatric emergency room beds for those who really need it," he said.

The urgent care center opens seven days a week beginning Thursday to residents of all ages. The $11 million facility was built with funds from the Mental Health Services Act state voters passed in 2004.

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