Mental Health and Substance Use Support

An Evolution in Mental Healthcare

We know that mental health is integral to overall health, and we are continuing to work with care providers throughout the region to reshape our behavioral health system from one that reacts to crisis to one that puts prevention and continuous care at the forefront.

New support to help those in crisis.

Through this process, we continue to identify new ways to help people who struggle with substance use disorders and keep all people connected and healthy. This past year we opened our second and third North County Crisis Stabilization Units in Vista and Oceanside. The units give people who are experiencing mental health episodes a calming place to get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week - rather than being sent to jails or emergency rooms. 

We also partnered with the City of San Diego to open a new 44-bed shelter for people who are experiencing homelessness and struggling with substance use disorders, mental health issues or both. 

For those in crisis who need immediate access to trained counselors for themselves or a loved one, we added a new 988 phone line. This new service adds to the County’s Access and Crisis Line; (888) 724-7240. And we expanded the use of Mobile Crisis Response Teams throughout the county – teams of trained professionals who bring care to someone experiencing a mental health, drug- or alcohol-related crisis, rather than dispatching law enforcement.

The County’s Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility was named one of the best facilities of its kind in the entire nation for the third time by Newsweek Magazine.

Added mental health resources.

Our new budget will continue to improve services. It adds 115 new behavioral health positions, with a focus on those who have historically suffered silently, such as young people and people experiencing homelessness. New funds will continue to support our Mobile Crisis Response Teams. The new budget will also use resources to match people with the right type of care for their needs — from recuperative care to school-based services, to services for foster youth and our LGBTQ community. 

“Just when you thought you knew all there was to raising foster children, they tell you things you never considered, what an eye opener. Love the classes.”  

- Patricia W.
Child Welfare Services Client

In addition, the County is working with Alvarado Hospital Medical Center to create a new behavioral health hub, providing in-patient hospital beds, a crisis stabilization unit, an emergency psychiatric unit and other services. It is expected to open by the end of 2023. 


Children, Youth and Adults Received Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services