Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, health leaders and the community came together for a ribbon cutting celebration for the new Mental Health Urgent Care Center (UCC) at the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus Wednesday morning. The Mental Health Center is near the recently opened MLK Outpatient Center and the new hospital, which is scheduled to open next summer.

The new center, which will open its doors Sept. 4, will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will offer a variety of services including psychiatric evaluation and assessment, crisis intervention, medication support and medication management. In addition, individuals and families can receive treatment, alcohol and drug counseling and prevention, domestic violence screening and referrals to other community resources where people can seek help.

Many people in Los Angeles County are in desperate need of psychiatric services and yet too few places are available to help. Hospital emergency rooms have become ground zero for psychiatric patients in need of help—making it a very expensive way to treat people with psychiatric problems.

The center will be run by Exodus Foundation for Recovery, which has been providing quality behavioral health services to disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders and chronic physical health issues.

While there is an emphasis on serving the indigent and Medi-Cal patients, no one will be turned away. Anyone over the age of 13 will be accepted.

“These are the kinds of services people need to get back on their feet,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I am looking forward to opening this center as well as watching Exodus continue to build strong ties to community centers, faith-based organizations and housing resources to help those in need and at risk.”