Managing Your Mental Wellness
We all experience daily stressors that affect our mental and emotional health, and we all feel sad or anxious from time to time. It’s important to monitor how we’re feeling and regularly check in on our loved ones.
Often, daily self-care practices can help support overall mental and physical wellness, however, if you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless, it’s important to educate yourself on the signs of a mental health challenge and seek help when needed.
The County of San Diego has a variety of resources available to help you navigate mental health challenges and daily stressors. Below you can find a list of materials and self-care tools for your mental health and wellbeing in the following categories:
- Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health Resources for Families, Parents, Caregivers & Youth
- Online and Phone Supports
- Emotional Support and Wellness
- Benefit Programs
- Additional County Resources
In addition to life’s universal stressors, communities that have been historically discriminated against face additional challenges to maintaining their mental health. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) community experience unique stressors, including micro-aggressions, stigma, and discrimination, that can worsen mental health challenges. Local resources are available that are tailored to your community. Use the It’s Up 2 Us Resource Tool to help you find the right resources for yourself or your loved one.
- It's Up to Us – Suicide prevention resources and services
- Mental Health America – Resources for prevention and support for mental health and well-being, including a free Mental Health Screening Tool to learn about your mental health
- National Alliance on Mental Illness San Diego (NAMI San Diego) – Resources and assistance to maintain mental health and wellness
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – Resources from the lead federal agency for research on mental health, including a helpful guide on Coping with Traumatic Events
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – Suicide prevention resources and a 24/7 confidential phone line to provide emotional support to people in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress
- Take Action for Mental Health – Resources to learn more and get support for yours and others' mental health
Health Resources for Parents from Mental Health America
- Includes educational resources for parents, including expecting or new parents, parents in military service, and youth mental health
- San Diego County Office of Education: Student Health & Well Being – Resources for school districts, schools, students, and families to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being
- Mental Health America: I Don't Mind – Tools to encourage open conversations about mental health and to provide resources, education, and encouragement for anyone who needs it
- The Trevor Project – Suicide prevention support for LGBTQ youth
- Mental Health Resources for Youth, Parents, Schools & Teachers from the California Health and Human Services Agency
2-1-1 San Diego
- Dial 2-1-1, or visit www.211sandiego.org, for access to community, health, social, and disaster services. The call is free, confidential, and available in more than 200 languages with access to 6,000+ services, resources, and programs.
Access & Crisis Line (ACL)
- Call the Access and Crisis Line at 1 (888) 724-7240 for free, confidential support and resources if you are dealing with alcohol, drug, or mental health challenges. Experienced counselors are available 24/7 in over 200 languages.
988 Suicide & Crisis Line
- Dial 9-8-8* to be directed to a local crisis call center or visit the website for more information. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or loved ones.
- *Individuals with San Diego County area codes (619, 858, 760 or 442) dialing 9-8-8 will have their calls routed to the ACL. Calls made from other area codes will be routed to the local crisis call center based on the caller’s area code. San Diego County residents and visitors are encouraged to reach out directly to the ACL at 1 (888) 724-7240 as the region’s existing crisis call center.
The NAMI Peer-to-Peer Warmline
- Call the Peer-to-Peer Warmline at 619-295-1055 from 3:30 pm - 11:00 pm, 7 days/week, to speak to a Peer Support Specialist. The Warmline is a non-crisis phone service that provides callers with information, referrals, support, and empathy.
- Text "TEEN" to 839863 or call 800-TLC-TEEN (nationwide toll-free) from 6pm to 10pm PST to connect with a trained, Teen Line teen volunteer for support.
California Youth Crisis Line
- Youth ages 12-24 or families in crisis can call or text 800-843-5200, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to speak to a trained staff or volunteer counselor. Translation services are available for multiple languages.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Line
- Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Line.
Keeping in touch with friends and family members who can boost your mood with a joke or hug can make a big difference in your mental health. But it can be hard to reach out when experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis. Learn more about how to stay connected to loved ones during difficult times and ways to maintain and support yours and others emotional health at the Take Action for Mental Health website.
Research has shown
that meditation and mindfulness may have several health benefits,
including helping to improve stress and anxiety management, lowering
blood pressure, and reducing insomnia. Check out the links below to
explore some free resources and see how mindfulness meditation can
- Stanford Health Journeys Audio Meditations
- Koru Mindfulness Guided Meditations
- Weekly Meditations with Dr. Rick Hanson
Mindfulness Awareness Center Guided Meditations
- Includes guided meditations in multiple languages
- Mindfulness Resources
The programs listed below can assist families or individuals qualified to receive assistance. For more information on the programs, including eligibility requirements, visit the websites below.
If you are looking for a service that isn't listed here, call 2-1-1 to speak to someone who can guide you through your options.
CalFresh food benefits can be used to buy food at grocery
stores, farmers' markets, and online
- Disaster CalFresh – Assists with food needs for people affected by a food, fire, earthquake, or other natural disasters
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food Benefits – Serves babies and children up to age 5, pregnant women, and new mothers
and Senior Dining – Information on nutrition services for
older adults, including dining centers and meal delivery
- CalFresh – CalFresh food benefits can be used to buy food at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and online
Income and Rental Assistance
- Cash Aid (CalWORKs) – Extra cash to pay for rent, housing, food, clothing, medical payments, and utilities for families with at least one child in the home
- General Relief – Temporary cash assistance to adults who are not supported by their own means, other public funds, or programs
- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing – Rental assistance for homeless veterans
Assistance Program for Immigrants – Cash assistance for
immigrants who are not eligible for the federally funded
Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment
Medical and Health Coverage
- Medi-Cal – Free or low-cost health care to people and families
Diego Kids Health Assurance Network – Medical and dental
services for children of low-income families in San Diego
Housing and Homelessness Assistance
- Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher – Programs to help families get rental assistance
- Emergency Housing Vouchers – Housing vouchers for families or individuals who are homeless, at risk of experiencing homelessness, fleeing, or attempting to flee from domestic violence or human trafficking
- Shelters and Emergency Housing – List of homeless shelters and emergency housing in San Diego
- 2-1-1 San Diego for shelter bed availability – Emergency shelter bed availability list updated at least once a day, Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – Helps families meet home energy costs
- Resources on how to prepare for a natural disaster
- San Diego County Recovery – Local information and resources following an emergency or disaster
Children Cope with Emergencies from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs – Resources for asylum seekers, immigrants, migrants and refugees
- First Five San Diego – Provides San Diego's youngest children with healthy development screenings, dental care, high-quality preschool and parenting workshops
- In-Home Support Services – Homemaker and personal care assistance to individuals who need help in the home to remain independent