News Release

City of Irvine
Public Information Office

1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606



Public Information Office

Secretary Xavier Becerra Visits Irvine to Discuss the Nation’s Mental Health Crisis

On March 9, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra met with City of Irvine officials about our nation’s mental health crisis, and how to strengthen the mental health and crisis care systems in our communities.

Congresswoman Katie Porter, Mayor Farrah N. Khan, Councilmember Tammy Kim, and city staff participated in a roundtable with Secretary Becerra to discuss several innovative City mental health programs, including the Irvine Police Department Mental Health Unit, Be Well OC in Irvine, and the Community Services Youth Outreach and Senior Services programs.

“I’m honored that Secretary Becerra visited the City of Irvine, and allowed us to be part of the national conversation about mental and behavioral health, said Mayor Khan. “President Biden’s vision to transform how mental health is understood, perceived, accessed, treated, and integrated into our City programs is more critical now than ever. This is a crucial step in addressing the needs of Irvine residents, and improving the health and well-being of our community.”

The Irvine Police Department Mental Health Unit, established in 2014, takes a case-management approach that has been lauded on a state and national level. Two dedicated Mental Health Officers are paired with a County clinician to follow up on cases in which a mental health need is identified. Additionally, the City works with partners, including local government and nonprofits, to address the national mental and behavioral health crises, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

The Community Services Department provides a variety of support and assistance to the City’s youth and senior communities. The Youth Outreach program provides teen activities such as community service, social recreational opportunities, and also engages teens in developing these programs for their peers. This program fosters leadership and social skills, and has a vital impact on the health and well-being of the City’s youth. Senior Services include a congregate lunch program, multicultural clubs, and transportation services. The Community Services team also helps connect seniors to vital government and nonprofit resources in the community, and provides wellness check services for at-risk seniors.  

To learn more about Secretary Becerra’s national tour to strengthen mental health, visit the Health and Human Services website.