Tri-City Psychiatric Health Facility
The County of San Diego
(County) and Tri-City Healthcare District (Tri-City) are partnering
to build a modern, state of the art facility on the Tri-City campus
in Oceanside to provide essential mental health services to the
North San Diego County community.
A Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) is a 24-hour facility that provides short-term inpatient care for adults 18 years and older with psychiatric needs. PHFs provide recovery services beyond the level of care offered in outpatient, emergency, or other crisis settings.
The PHF service model provides client-centered care and emphasizes continuous assessment of client progress with the goal of stabilization and improvement in overall client wellness. The PHF is designed to proactively transition clients to the next appropriate level of care and to provide referrals to other services upon discharge. Client care at the PHF is provided by a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, mental health therapists, nurses, mental health workers, and other supportive providers.
New County of San Diego and Tri-City PHF
The Tri-City Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) will provide short-term, inpatient services with an average length of stay of 5-7 days, after which clients will be connected to appropriate community-based care that best meets their unique needs.
The 16-bed capacity offered by the new facility will alleviate pressures on local hospitals and emergency rooms by referring clients with psychiatric needs to the appropriate treatment setting and will ensure that people in need of specialized care receive the right service, in the right place, at the right time.
Built on the expertise of local healthcare leaders and other stakeholders, this project is being developed through a unique, collaborative partnership with Tri-City to ensure there is adequate capacity to care for the mental health needs of residents in North San Diego County. This project is a key component of transforming the continuum of behavioral health care services in San Diego County.
Project Resources and Documents
- Tri-City Psychiatric Health Facility Overview
- Project (#D21-00004) plans are available for public viewing on the City of Oceanside website.
- Tri-City Psychiatric Health Facility Construction Documents
For more information or to leave a question or comment, please email: BHSContactUs.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov .
Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be an increase in foot traffic in the neighborhood?
There is no anticipated increase in foot traffic as clients will be routed through the main vehicle access points to the Tri-City Medical Center campus on Vista Way and Thunder Drive, and this is not an outpatient facility where clients would come and go daily.
Will there be an increase in vehicle traffic?
There is no anticipated increase in vehicle traffic. Clients will be admitted directly to the PHF via appropriate medical provider transportation, including emergency vehicles entering through the main vehicle access points to the Tri-City Medical Center’s campus on Vista Way and Thunder Drive.
What will be the aesthetics of the new building?
The facility is being thoughtfully designed and promises to be an architectural asset that sets a standard for mental health care environments.
Will there be a security service?
As this is on the existing Tri-City Medical Center campus, there will be full security in accordance with existing and established protocols.
Who will this facility serve?
The facility will serve clients who need higher level psychiatric care than can be provided in an outpatient setting.
How will clients arrive at the facility?
Patients requiring short-term, inpatient treatment at the PHF will be referred to and directly admitted to the facility from local Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) and emergency rooms. Clients will arrive at the facility via appropriate medical provider transportation, including emergency vehicles.
How can the facility be accessed?
Access to the facility will be through the main vehicle and pedestrian access points to the Tri-City Medical Center campus on Vista Way and Thunder Drive. There will not be access through the adjacent neighborhoods. A fire access road will join Waring Road to the west and a locked gate will prevent vehicular and pedestrian traffic onto Waring Road.
What happens to clients when they are released from the facility?
After a short-term stay, clients will be connected to appropriate community-based care that best meets their unique needs. Services at the facility are designed to be seamlessly coordinated so that clients are fully supported and are proactively transitioned to the next appropriate level of care.
What type of lighting will be used at the facility, and will it cause
Multiple types of lighting will be used, including pole lighting, stair lighting, and bollard lighting. All lighting is downward facing and will not be brighter than lights in the current parking lot. The lighting will not produce light pollution, and photometric studies concluded that light levels at the site will be 1 foot-candle or less.
Will people be dropped off at the facility via the Waring Road emergency
exit? Also, why is there a sidewalk and gate for people at that
emergency exit if there will not be foot traffic?
No. Patients will all be transported to the facility via the Vista Way entrance. The gate will only be used in case of emergency and can only be opened by security personnel or the fire department. The sidewalk along Waring Road is existing with an existing bus stop just south of where the emergency entrance will be located. The existing sidewalk connects the neighborhood to the businesses at the bottom of the hill.
Why was the northwest corner of the Tri-City campus chosen as the site
for this facility? Why was it not put closer to the hospital?
Several factors were considered in siting the project. Planners wanted to ensure the facility was in a location outside the immediate vicinity of the main hospital to give patients the proper environment for their care. Additionally, the parcel that the PHF is situated is a separate parcel from the rest of the parking lot. Electrical and sewer access is only possible from the parcel at the northwest corner, and it is against code to cross parcels to connect to these utilities.
Will facility beds be reserved for North County residents?
People will get care closest to where they live and where they have their support system, so we expect that most patients treated at this facility will be from North County.
Who will be responsible for addressing site maintenance, dust control,
run-off, and other concerns during construction?
The construction contractor is required to manage these concerns, and the City of Oceanside provides oversight.
When will the facility be opened?
This facility is currently scheduled to open in spring 2024.
What kind of fencing will the property have to ensure security and
There will be an 8-foot-high steel tube fence surrounding the facility and parking lot. The building entrance is approximately 90 feet from the property line, and visitors will not be able to loiter in proximity to neighbors’ homes. There will also be a row of low trees on both the north and west ends of the property that allow light to get through but provide privacy on both sides.
Will trash trucks travel through the neighborhood and how will they
access trash at the site?
There is no reason for waste management trucks traveling through the neighborhood any more than they currently are. They will access the facility through the Vista Way entrance, as they currently do to service the hospital, and will not have access to the Waring Road emergency exit.
Is this facility associated with SOAP MAT nearby?
No, it is not associated with that facility, nor is it the same kind of facility. SOAP MAT is an outpatient facility that provides opiate addiction treatment. The new facility being built is a locked inpatient facility providing acute psychiatric care.
Will the facility attract homeless people? Who is responsible for people
loitering around the facility?
This is an enclosed, in-patient residential unit. Patients will be transported in and out through the Vista Way entrance. Additionally, this facility does not provide walk-up services, so there will not be any reason for people to loiter on the property. Tri-City has a full security team that works to protect the safety of the patients and people on Tri-City’s campus. They also work with law enforcement agencies to ensure this safety.
There’s a reference to a “storefront” in the plans. What is meant by
Typically, a storefront is a reference to a full-height, aluminum framed window.
Why does this facility have to be in this general area?
North County has had a significant decrease in psychiatric bed capacity. The County wants to ensure that mental health resources are available where they are needed so that people can get care in the community in which they live. This facility will allow people from North County to get care in North County.
Page last updated 03/07/2023