March 2, 2023
LACDMH Public Information Office
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Appoint Dr. Lisa H. Wong Director of L.A. County Department of Mental Health
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Lisa H. Wong Director of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) during its Board meeting on Feb. 28, 2023. The appointment follows Dr. Wong’s eight-month tenure as Interim Director since July 1, 2022.
“As a student in Skid Row, I never envisioned that I would one day become the director of the Department of Mental Health. My focus was always on providing care to those who needed it most, which has been a source of great joy, fullfillment and growth in my life. I am honored and humbled to now have the opportunity to lead this amazing organization of dedicated, passionate, mission-driven people in caring for the residents of Los Angeles County. In the words of Dr. Cornel West, ‘You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people, and you can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.’ I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity to love and serve,” said Dr. Wong.
With over 33 years of experience at LACDMH, Dr. Wong spent more than two decades working in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles providing care to some of the County’s most vulnerable and high-risk individuals experiencing serious mental illness and homelessness. Prior to her Directorship, Dr. Wong served as Senior Deputy Director and interim Chief of the Full-Service Partnership (FSP) program, a 24/7 intensive outpatient service aimed at helping clients at risk for homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization, among other negative life outcomes. Previously, she served as the Mental Health Clinical Program Head Over Downtown Mental Health Center general outpatient services, CalWORKs/GROW, Prevention & Early Intervention programs, Service Area Chief over Service Areas 2 and 3 and Acting Chief for Outpatient Services.
A few of the Department accomplishments under Dr. Wong’s leadership as interim director include: hiring or promoting over 500 employees during an unprecedented nationwide shortage of mental health care workers; launching the Alternative Crisis Response efforts and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline; seamlessly pivoting to the first cohort of counties to implement CARE Court; progress in developing the innovative Hollywood 2.0 project; and ensuring the completion of the master plan for new facilities on the county Restorative Care Villages including 240 Crisis Residential Treatment Program beds.
Dr. Wong earned her Psy.D. from the Pacifica Graduate Institute and her M.A. in clinical psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, and she is a lifelong advocate for vulnerable populations and social justice issues.
About The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)
As the nation’s largest public mental health department, we ensure access to care and treatment for our most vulnerable residents in a region with more than 10 million people. With an annual budget approaching $3B and a committed staff of 6,000, LACDMH embodies a “heart-forward” approach to supporting hope, recovery and well-being across the County. For more information, visit dmh.lacounty.gov or follow @LACDMH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.