February 9, 2023

LA City Council Approves Contracts for Mental Health Services at City Libraries

The L.A. City Council approved more than $800,000 in contracts to provide assistance to librarians and other library staff to train them should they encounter someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

The L.A. City Council approved three new contracts Tuesday for mental health services at public libraries. The contracts total more than $800,000 and will provide help for library staff who encounter people going through a mental health crisis as well as provide case management and counseling for library patrons.

Why it matters

Karen Pickard-Four, head of LAPL’s Library Experience Office, said the need is there on a daily basis for mental health resources at the city’s libraries.

“We constantly have to train staff to respond to people that are in our branches. The great thing is going to be able to provide assistance to people who are suffering,” Pickard-Four said.

She told LAist last year that part of the goal of the mental health contracts is also to have less police involvement when someone is in crisis in a city library.

What’s next

Pickard-Four expects at least five additional contracts will follow the first three. The services will soon be available at the Central Library and some branch libraries. Ask your local L.A. library for more info on how to benefit from these services.

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