The mission of the Alcott Center for Mental Health Services is to enhance the quality of life, promote independence and empower individuals with mental illness to live productive and meaningful lives. The Alcott Center provides high quality treatment and supportive services within a caring, respectful community.
The Alcott Center for Mental Health Services, a 501(c)3 designated organization, started in 1979 with a mission to improve the quality of life for people suffering from serious and persistent mental illness by recognizing individual strengths, promoting independence and fostering personal empowerment. Then known as Beverlywood Mental Health Center, it offered 120 residential care beds to mentally ill individuals.
In 1980, the Center was awarded a contract with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to provide housing for mentally ill adults. In 1986, a freestanding outpatient center was added to serve the community with the inauguration of the Resource Center. In 1995, responding to the desire of board and care residents to live more independently, the agency developed an independent living skills program and a corresponding semi-independent housing site named the Plaza. The Plaza is a thriving community where graduates of the Community Living Program (CLP) live in apartments, provide each other with support, share experiences, and host holiday celebrations. CLP assists adults from all over Los Angeles to develop the necessary skills to live at the Plaza or elsewhere in their own apartments. In 1999, to accommodate its expansion, the outpatient center moved its outpatient site to a new location on Alcott Street. The agency adopted the new name, Alcott Center for Mental Health Services to reflect the new service location.
Today, the Alcott Center continues to expand its wide range of services to address the whole person ’s changing needs. The addition of Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) funding has allowed the agency to serve more unserved individuals, providing a time-limited transitional residential services program to persons referred by the Exodus Urgent Care Center. In addition, two new field capable services programs for adults and older adults allow consumers to receive services in locations outside the traditional mental health clinic.
Penny Mehra, Penny Mehra, Executive Director of the Alcott Center for Mental Health Services came to the agency in 1981 as an intern. She became Executive Director in 1987. She has been active in in planning and coordination of services and has co-founded the Coalition of Residential Care Providers, She has served on the board of the Association of Community Human Service Agencies and a member of CCCMHA, NBHCC as well as NAMI. She is an active member of the Service Area Advisory Committee and cochairs the. Westside Mental Health Network
As the Executive Director of the Alcott Center, Ms. Mehra has overseen the expansion of services and addition of programs essential to the ever-changing needs of people with mental illness. This includes the addition of independent living facility, adding the highly respected Community Living Program (CLP), creating transitional residential services as part of the Westside Urgent Care Program and to the current addition of Field Capable Services. Ms. Mehra actively fosters leadership, civic involvement and advocacy in clients. She oversees a weekly meeting of residents at both the Graduate House and the Plaza. In addition, she is involved in the Alcott Center’s Visiting Artist Project.
For her contributions to the mental health community Ms. Mehra has received the Community Support Services Award from Project Return. In 2007, she was nominated at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award for Executive of the Year and in 2009 received a Certificate of Commendation from the City of Los Angeles for her work to make the City and the South Robertson Community a better place to live and work.
Jessica Wilkins, MFT, joined the Alcott Center in 1994. She has been the Clinical Director since 1999, and served previously as a dedicated member of the treatment team. Ms.Wilkins graduated with distinction receiving a Masters of Science in Marriage Family Counseling from California Sate University, Northridge and received a Bachelor of Arts in Physiology from University of California, Berkeley. She is very active in the mental health community, having participated in numerous Los Angeles Department of Mental Health committees including currently co-chairing the Service Area 5 Quality Improvement Committee, as well as being an active participant in Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA) committees and meetings. Ms. Wilkins is also a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Ms. Wilkins previous experience and training include providing therapy to adolescents and their families, conflict resolution, crisis intervention, and treatment of borderline personality. She is proud to be a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) trained provider having completed clinical training developing Collaborative Recovery Models for Consumers and their Families. Ms. Wilkins currently oversees the outpatient and transitional residential services, the graduate training program, and continues to provide direct clinical services to mentally ill adults and their families. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristi Rangel, LCSW, has been the Program Manager at the Alcott Center since 2000. She has provided services to adults coping with mental illness since 1995. Ms. Rangel earned her Masters of Social Work degree at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors of Arts in Law and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and has worked with the mentally ill who are homeless, substance abusers and those suffering from HIV and AIDS. Having completed the clinical training in Collaborative Recovery Models for Consumers and their families, she is a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) trained provider. Ms. Rangel provides direct clinical services to mentally ill adults and their families and manages the day-to-day program activities at the Alcott Center. email@example.com
The Alcott Center staff consists of well-educated and trained mental health professionals and residential staff including psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, case managers, consumers, and graduate level interns pursuing careers in mental health. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us at (310) 785-2121.