Mental Health Urgent Care Center on schedule.

LANCASTER – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County’s new $14.3 million mental health urgent care center is expected to be finished this fall on schedule.

The new center is located beside the Los Angeles County High Desert Regional Health Center in central Lancaster and will provide around-the-clock mental health services to adults, children and adolescents who are suffering a crisis and need immediate stabilization.

“The Mental Health Urgent Care Center will provide timely, comprehensive treatment from talented providers to our residents close to home,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, whose district includes the Antelope Valley. “Providing mental health care remains a priority for our Antelope Valley communities, and this facility will alleviate a heavy burden on our local hospitals and provide the compassionate care patients deserve.”

Los Angeles County officials say they expect substantial completion of the 9,900-square-foot building by Sept. 15. Furnishing and final touches will take about another month, and then a few more weeks for the facility’s operator to prepare to see patients, officials said.

The urgent care center will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing services for Antelope Valley patients who now must travel to the county’s Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and freeing up space in local hospital emergency rooms.

It will offer mental health services including diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, referrals, consultation, community services, crisis intervention/stabilization, medication support and case management, county officials said.

The building is being constructed by The PENTA Building Group. The design and building contract is for $14.3 million, and the total project cost is $16.5 million.

The center will be operated under contract with the county Department of Mental Health by Star View Behavioral Health.

Star View is a subsidiary of Stars Behavioral Health Group, which was founded in 1988 and has programs in a number of California counties. Star View operates an urgent care mental health center in Long Beach for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and has a second opening this month in the City of Industry.

The Lancaster center is being built east of the 142,000-square-foot High Desert Regional Health Center, 335 East Ave. I, which was opened in 2014 by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

High Desert Regional Health Center offers primary medical care clinics, a range of specialty clinics and urgent care services. The 15-acre campus was built to provide a more central location and more modern facilities, replacing aging offices that were part of the former High Desert Hospital built in 1962 in west Lancaster.