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California's Big Plan To Get Help For People With Serious Mental Illness Is Off To A Slow Start

It’s been six months since Los Angeles County launched a new program aimed at getting more people with serious mental illness into treatment, but the number of petitions so far is much lower than expected.

Known as CARE Court, the program that launched Dec. 1 allows family members, behavioral health workers, first responders and others to petition a court to step in with a voluntary care plan for someone living with serious mental illness, like schizophrenia.

State authorities estimated that L.A. County would have as many as 1,900 petitions by now, but as of this week only 155 have been submitted — about 8% of what was projected. About 500 petitions have been filed statewide.

From those petitions, 13 participants now have treatment plans or agreements in place, county authorities said.


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