San Diego County

BREAKDOWN: Resources for San Diegans Living With Mental Illness

A list of resources for San Diego County residents of all ages in need of mental health assistance


If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. There is someone available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK.

Headstrong was founded in 2012 to provide confidential, cost-free mental health care treatment for military veterans and their families. In partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine, Headstrong developed an individually tailored treatment program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related military trauma,

Founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children provides evidence-based therapeutic, educational, foster care and transition age services to children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Contact online, or by phone at (858) 277-9550.

HELPLINE: 1-800-523-5933

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego is the community’s voice on mental illness. NAMI San Diego is part of the grass-roots, nonprofit national NAMI organization, and also an affiliate of NAMI California. NAMI San Diego was founded in 1978 by family members of people with mental illness. Details here.

The County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services (BHS) department provides mental health and substance use disorder services to more than 111,000 San Diego County residents of all ages. Services are provided through nine county-operated programs, over 300 contracts, and 800 individual fee-for-service providers.

The BHS reception desk can be reached Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (619) 563-2700.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911. If you need support or are actively seeking services, call San Diego's Access Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 and an experienced counselor will provide you with a referral to meet your needs and help determine eligibility.

The mission of Recovery International is to use the cognitive-behavioral, peer-to-peer, self-help training system developed by Abraham Low, MD, to help individuals gain skills to lead more peaceful and productive lives. Find more information here, or by calling (619) 383-2084.

To access PERT services, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.

The It’s Up to Us campaign is designed to empower San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness, recognize symptoms, utilize local resources and seek help. This campaign is developed through the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, and supports the County’s Live Well San Diego vision to promote a community that is healthy, safe and thriving.

Trained and experienced counselors are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to provide support, referrals, and crisis intervention. You can also call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 if you are concerned about someone, just need to talk, have questions about how to offer support, or if you are looking for information about community resources, mental health referrals, and alcohol and drug support services. Details here

Mental Health Systems is a nonprofit agency founded in 1978 to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities facing substance abuse and behavioral health challenges. Contact online, or by phone at (858) 573-2600.

Mental Health America of San Diego County is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, education, research and service. More from MHA of San Diego here.

Click here to watch "BREAKDOWN," NBC 7's three-part investigative series on the mental health care crisis in San Diego County.

Contact Us