DMH Programs Video Profiles

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health provides services to children, youth, adults, and older adults of all ethnicities through directly operated programs in the County’s 8 Service Areas, ranging from the high desert of the Antelope Valley, to the crowded Downtown and Harbor areas to the diverse communities of South, West, and East LA, and the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. All programs emphasize hope for clients struggling with these complex disorders through the provision of varied services supporting wellness and the vision of long-term recovery.

Service Area 1

Antelope Valley

In the northern reaches of Los Angeles County, the high desert between the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains, was originally an agricultural and mining area. The location of Edwards Air Force Base near Rosamond after World War II led to expansion of aerospace and other industry; however, the recessions of the 2000s have led to serious unemployment, housing foreclosures, and a growing homeless population. Yet the population of the Valley has continued to expand, with many emigrants from South and Central Los Angeles.

DMH psychologist Robert Krueger comments, "Many of the reasons why someone will move to the Antelope Valley from, say, the inner city or even some of these suburbs is to get away from family members who hold on to dear life that stigma that says you have a diagnosis and that diagnosis creates havoc in my family and you are the problem. You are the reason why I had this divorce. You are the reason I had to raise you as a single mother. You are the reason why your brother committed suicide. You’re the reason why you’re a drunk. This is your problem. And so that label, that stigma, definitely gets engrained within the family and people come to a point where they have no other hope but to just leave. And they look at the Antelope Valley as a place to come where housing is affordable and where there are some services available."