County of San Diego Crisis Stabilization Units

What is a Crisis Stabilization Unit?

Crisis Stabilization Units, or CSUs, provide emergency mental health assessment and treatment services in therapeutic settings to individuals having a psychiatric emergency for short-term stays of up to 24 hours. The goal is to stabilize the crisis or when necessary, assist the individual in accessing psychiatric hospital admission. 

What is a psychiatric emergency?

  • A psychiatric emergency, also known as a behavioral health crisis or emergency, is when a person's thoughts, feelings or behaviors may lead them to:
    • Hurt themselves or others; or
    • Be at risk of being unable to care for themselves or function in a healthy manner.
  • A person in crisis may experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or a sense of a loss of control.
  • These feelings may be initiated or worsened by the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription drugs.
  • If you think you or someone you know could be having a psychiatric emergency, call the Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240 to speak with a licensed, behavioral health professional. Calls are answered 24/7, are confidential, and always free. Translation is available in over 200 languages.

What services are provided at a CSU?

Services are tailored to each person admitted to the CSU to ensure they receive the treatment and support they need to stabilize.

  •  Services are provided on a short-term basis, up to 24 hours, and include crisis intervention, mental health assessment, medication assistance, therapy, and peer support.
  • CSUs are designed to be relaxing and quiet, with a calming environment to support mental wellness.

Who can recieve services at a County of San Diego CSU?

The County of San Diego offers services to children and adults at various locations countywide. County CSUs generally serve individuals who are Medi-Cal eligible, uninsured, or very low income and who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency. If you have any questions, contact your primary insurer or reach out directly to any of the CSU locations listed below.

County of San Diego Crisis Stabilization Units

Facility Region & Neighborhood Address & Phone
Children’s Emergency Screening Unit
Serves children and adolescents under 18
Central, Hillcrest 4309 Third Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 876-4502
North Coastal Community-Based Crisis Stabilization Unit
Serves adults 18+
North Coastal, Vista 550 West Vista Way, Suite 407
Vista, CA 92083
(760) 305-4848
North Coastal Live Well Health Center Community-Based Crisis Stabilization Unit
Serves adults 18+
North Coastal, Oceanside 1701 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92058
(760) 712-3535
Palomar Crisis Stabilization Unit
Serves adults 18+
North Inland, Escondido 2185 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029
(760) 739-3012
San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital Emergency Psychiatric Unit
Serves adults 18+
North Central, Midway 3853 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 692-8222
Paradise Valley Bayview Crisis Stabilization Unit
Serves adults 18+
South, West Chula Vista 330 Moss Street
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 585-4221
East Region Crisis Stabilization Unit
and Recovery Bridge Center 
Will serve adults 18+
East, El Cajon Estimated mid-2025

Video of Oceanside CSU

For a glimpse at one of the County's newest CSUs, check out this County News Center video on the Oceanside Crisis Stabilization Unit which opened April 2022:

Frequently Asked Questions

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