LA Mental Health Director Stepping Down

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Director Dr. Jonathan Sherin will leave the job on July 1 for health reasons. Sherin called the decision “by far the most difficult decision of my career.”

Dr. Sherin is a licensed psychiatrist and neurobiologist. He worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for more than ten years and previously served as vice-chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami.

“He has led the department toward a vision in which mental healthcare is treated as seriously as physical healthcare,” said County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We will miss him deeply but the work that he has started will forward thanks to his dedication.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis thanked Dr. Sherin for helping to launch the Restorative Care Village at LAC+USC Medical Center.

Dr. Sherin’s departure comes at a pivotal moment for mental health in Los Angeles County. There has been an increase in mental health disorders amid the pandemic, and the number of unhoused individuals with serious mental illness continues to climb. The governor has proposed a new system of civil courts in every California county that could help compel severely mentally ill individuals into treatment.

LACDMH is the largest public mental health system in the country. itsIts annual budget is nearly $3 billion.