Celebrating the Work You Do: Didi Hirsch

Two hours into her daily shift as a crisis line counselor, Maria received a chat message from a desperate 12-year-old girl. Anxious, depressed and alone, Janna had swallowed a bottle of her mom’s prescription meds but regretted it 15 minutes later. Maria quickly and calmly developed a rapport with Janna, gained her trust and sent help to Janna’s home. A short time later, Janna was found on the bedroom floor barely conscious, her cell phone used to reach out lying next to her.

Didi Hirsch saved Janna’s life.

About Didi Hirsch

Since 1942, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has saved and transformed the lives of children, adults and families through world-class, whole-person mental health care and suicide prevention, including where discrimination and injustice limit access. Today, they operate from 10 locations and 100 schools in Los Angeles, Culver City, Inglewood, Pacoima, Glendale and Santa Ana, serving over 153,000 individuals each year. Their goal is to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide. They have helped erase stigma by providing local and national interviews appearing in over 1,100 print/online/TV/radio outlets over the past two years.

Didi Hirsch envisions the day when treatment for mental health and substance use is held in the same regard as all other health care; when talking about mental illness and suicide is no longer taboo; and when treatment is available to all at the first sign of illness.

Over the past three years alone, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has provided quality behavioral health services to over 365,000 adults, youth, and children from underserved communities throughout Southern California. Armed with over 540 staff and 220 volunteers, they have provided integrated mental and physical health care, substance use disorder services, and suicide prevention services. They work with individuals across the lifespan, beginning with a special Zero to Five program for at-risk families with young children. Didi Hirsch also operates two of the four Crisis Residential Treatment programs in Los Angeles County, which are short-term residential programs for men and women in psychiatric crisis—many of whom are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. They also provide drug and alcohol-related prevention and treatment services for teens and adults through both outpatient services and residential treatment program for women.

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center, the first in the nation, has helped people contemplating suicide or grieving the loss of a loved one since 1958. It serves as a model for suicide prevention centers across the globe. The Center offers training in the most effective lifesaving interventions, crisis services to save lives, counseling to support recovery from trauma, and research to further explore the causes and prevention of suicidal behavior.

How Didi Hirsch Serves Southern California

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is one of the original members of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is a network of over 159 accredited suicide crisis lines in the U.S. that connects callers to the closest line and links them to another line if the first is busy or down. They operate the official crisis line in five Southern California counties—Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura. Didi Hirsch is one of only three centers in the country with 24/7 Spanish-language services and one of three core centers for the Disaster Distress Helpline. They also offer online emotional support via chat. In greater Los Angeles they back-up the Teen Line during the 20 hours each day when teens are not answering calls.  They also have a dedicated hotline for Los Angeles Unified School District employees and their families and have a 24/7 ‘HEARME’ text option for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Didi Hirsch and Exym Behavioral Health EHR

Didy Hirsch has been an Exym customer since 2019.  They use the core software as well as the analytics, residential and substance abuse modules. Kristine Santoro, Vice President of Quality and Innovation at Didi Hirsch said of Exym “The analytics module has been life-changing in adding value to data and decision-making within our organization. We also utilize the Substance Use and Residential  modules, which has allowed us to use Exym to handle our myriad of services and seamlessly transition between our services all on one platform.”

“If you are contracted through Department of Mental Health, Exym is hands-down the best EHR to go with. They stay on top of the DMH and state regulations and are sure to be in compliance. Exym also walks you through the implementation process every step of the way and remains supportive not only through the implementation process but for your whole journey ahead. Exym is committed to developing a system and company culture that optimizes efficiency and ultimately client care. Exym really cares.

Kristine Santoro, Vice President of Quality and Innovation at Didi Hirsch

Didi Hirsch “Mental Health is Health Experience

Didi Hirsch is hosting an event in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month called “Mental Health is Health”. This experience was designed by Didi Hirsch and partners to ensure mental and physical health are finally treated equally in the US. By giving everyone a positive mind-body experience, we aim to advance how society and healthcare think about and care for whole people. This virtual event will take place on May 26, 2021. Click here to Join the Mental Health Is Health experience  so everyone can access quality, affordable, mental health care.

Exym is proud to support agencies like Didi Hirsch by giving our customers the freedom to focus on care.  If you would like to support Didi Hirsch and the important work they’re doing in Southern California, click below.