County of Marin - News Releases - Assisted Outpatient Treatment

For Immediate Release
September 19, 2018

Marin Launches New Mental Health Program

Assisted Outpatient Treatment created to reduce hospitalizations, incarcerations

San Rafael, CA – Marin County has launched a two-year pilot program to help mental health patients get the treatment they need to survive safely in the community without supervision and lessen threats to others.

Dr. Jei Africa speaks about the new Assisted Outpatient Treatment program before the Board of Supervisors on September 18, 2018.Dr. Jei Africa speaks about the County's new Assisted Outpatient Treatment pilot program before the Board of Supervisors on September 18.
During the Marin County Supervisors meeting of September 18, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided an update on a new program built around California’s Assembly Bill 1421, often called Laura’s Law. The Board had directed Marin HHS to pursue a pilot program in spring 2017, and staff reported about the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program’s implementation.

The program, created after staff visits to AOT programs in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, officially started in Marin on September 4.

The AOT program assists people with serious and persistent mental illness aged 18 and over who can benefit from the treatment but decline voluntary participation. Only those with a history of noncompliance, psychiatric hospitalization or incarceration, or violent behavior would qualify for the AOT program.

“The main goal of AOT is to help decrease the number of hospitalizations and incarcerations that clients experience, and those who are not eligible for the program will be connected to appropriate resources,” said Dr. Jei Africa, Marin HHS’ Behavioral Health and Services Director.

Marin HHS expects a high number of referrals but a much smaller number of patients who meet the program criteria. Those referred but not qualified will be redirected to other existing services.

Learn more about the Marin AOT program at www.marinhhs.org.

Contact:

Dr. Jei Africa
Program Director
Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Department of Health and Human Services

20 North San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7595
CRS Dial 711
Email: Dr. Jei Africa
Marin HHS webpage