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The Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), housed within the Department of Public Health, works to strengthen coordination, capacity and partnerships to address the root causes of violence, and to advance policies and practices that are grounded in race equity, to prevent all forms of violence and to promote healing across all communities in Los Angeles County. OVP monitors the trends and circumstances of violent deaths affecting Los Angeles County to inform decision makers and program planners about ways to prevent and intervene on violence in the community, at home and in the workplace.
Join us at one of OVP’s 2024 Rise, Reclaim, Restore Youth Mental Health Summits - An exciting day of shared learning, workshops, and activities.
The Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), in partnership with the Department of Mental Health and community partners, is excited to host an innovative series of five teen metal health summits. The summits will engage youth in a variety of activities where they will learn mindfulness strategies, how to recognize the signs that they or their friends may need help, and connect with other youth and local resources.
Our nation is in the midst of a crisis in teen mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which analyzed various trends from 2011 to 2021, said that more than 40% of high school students today reported “feeling so sad or hopeless that they could not engage in their regular activities for at least two weeks.” The survey also noted that in 2021, “almost 60% of female students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the previous year, and nearly 25% made a suicide plan.”
The OVP Rise, Reclaim Restore Youth Mental Health Summits provide a resource to promote youth mental health and wellbeing and are geared toward middle and high school students ages 12 to 18. Through educational workshops and hands-on activities, the summits will empower youth to navigate a clear path to mental health and personal well-being. Summits will take place January through April 2024 at various locations around Los Angeles County. Click here to view Youth Mental Summit flyer.
The program for the day includes three sections: Rise, Reclaim, and Restore.
Part I – RISE: The LA County Department of Mental Health will lead youth through the “It’s Real” Curriculum, a program that raises awareness about mental health issues, how to start a conversation about mental health, the importance of self-care, and how to reach out for help.
Part II – RECLAIM: LA County Office of Violence Prevention will guide youth through an activity to identify their “pods” or the people at school, home, and their community who can support their mental health and wellbeing. Youth will also set a mental health goal.
Part III – RESTORE: Youth will participate in a rotating activity with local mental health organizations and agencies.
The first summit will take place on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, 43063 10th St. W, Lancaster, 93534. Summits will also be held in the South Bay (January 27), Eastside/San Gabriel Valley (February 24), South Los Angeles, (April 13), and Westside/ San Fernando Valley (April 27). For more information, and to register for any of these summits, please visit our Eventbrite at tinyurl.com/lacyouthsummits. Registration includes submission of emergency contacts and completion of a consent form.
Increasing Access to Gun Violence Restraining Orders
A motion approved August 8 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors calls on the Office of Violence Prevention, housed in the Department of Public Health, to lead an initial campaign that is culturally and linguistically relevant to increase public awareness of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). The authors of the motion, Board Chair Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda Solis, discussed its significance at a press conference hours before the Supervisors voted in favor of the motion, which also directed OVP to collect and publicly share data on GVROs and to coordinate with law enforcement and community- based organizations on training. They were joined at the podium by Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Acting Captain Robert Peacock; and Mia Livas Porter with Moms Demand Action. Mia Livas Porter spoke movingly about how GVROs have the potential to prevent tragedies. Thirty years ago, her brother used a gun to take his own life.
Approved by the California Legislature in 2016, GVROs allow the courts to temporarily remove guns and ammunition from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others anywhere between 21 days and 5 years. The subject of the order is also not permitted to purchase guns or ammunition during the designated time.
While GVROs are seen as an effective tool to reduce gun violence, they have been woefully underused in LA County. In the period from 2016 to 2022, only 266 GVROs were issued, and 95% of those were requested by law enforcement, even though family members, co-workers, friends, and a person in a dating relationship are eligible to seek a GVRO.
“We have a public health crisis facing us that demands a comprehensive public health solution,” said Dr. Ferrer. “GVROs and other legal protection orders are based on the idea that each of us can contribute to building a more peaceful society. Today’s motion asks that we do more to make sure the option of filing a GVRO is available and utilized.”
Public Release of OVP’s Gun Violence Prevention Platform
On Friday, April 7th, the Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention, housed in the Department of Public Health, publicly released the County’s 40-point Gun Violence Prevention Platform. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, made the announcement at a press conference in front of the County Hall of Administration. “Without sustained, meaningful action on gun violence we are all but conceding the future, and we are noting that it will be no better than our grim present – perhaps worse,” she said.
The Gun Violence Prevention Platform, developed in June 2022 by a Task Force consisting of mental health and health care professionals, public health practitioners, and community partners, identified four priority action areas as critical first steps in making Los Angeles County safe and secure for all: Legislation, Social Connections and Healing, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and School Safety and Services.
Dr. Ferrer was joined at the podium by David Guizar of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, Kevin Orange, Trauma Prevention Initiative Community Intervention Worker; and Dr. Susan Stone, Senior Medical Director with L.A. Care Health Plan. Both Guizar and Orange lost brothers to gun violence. They spoke movingly about the necessity of providing critical services and coming together as a community in support of peace, security, and healing.
Dr. Stone stated that physicians are became increasingly engaged in the effort to reduce gun violence, including asking patients if they have a gun in the house. “Gun violence is our lane.”
“The Gun Violence Prevention Platform represents one of the most extensive, multi-faceted plans ever put forth by the County to address gun violence,” noted Dr. Ferrer. “It rejects the idea – all too common – that we have no choice but to resign ourselves to this insidious threat to daily life and wellbeing.”
The Task Force is expected to release a progress report around the four priorities this summer. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at 626-293-2610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Los Angeles County
The Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention has released a new report, “Youth Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Los Angeles County,” which highlights suicide and suicide attempt data among Los Angeles County youth ages 10-24 between 2016 and 2020. The report includes general demographics, methods most frequently used, and suicide trends during the five-year period. The report also briefly overviews reported suicides and attempts during 2020, with the acknowledgment that there is still much more to understand about this unprecedented time. The report concludes with links to prevention resources that reduce stigma and normalize mental health as an integral component of health and wellbeing.
OVP supports the County’s LA vs. Hate Initiative led by the Human Relations Commission in collaboration with community partners.
LA vs Hate is a community-centered creative campaign to encourage and support all residents of Los Angeles County to unite against, report, and resist hate.
If you are the victim, or witness of, a hate incident or hate crime you can report the incident/crime with 211 LA. Your report is confidential and 211 is not affiliated with law enforcement.
The OVP Strategic Plan is a live document and we welcome your ongoing feedback, specifically as it pertains to our priorities, goals, objectives and strategies. Please provide your input by sending an email to email@example.com or email Andrea Welsing, OVP Director, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will provide your thoughts, comments and recommendations for the Strategic Plan and that you will continue to be part of our violence prevention and healing efforts as we work together to advance strategies to prevent violence and promote healing.
DPH Director's Message on Racism
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer,
acknowledges that addressing law enforcement violence and racism are core to public health.
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.