Mental Health-Adult

The Behavioral Health Department has fully re-opened all of our locations for in person and walk-in care.  We welcome the community back to our clinics, and we look forward to continuing to move towards fully available, safe, and accessible programs either in-person, or by telehealth.  At this time, masks, distancing, and screening for COVID-19 will continue to be required at all of our facilities, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.

As a healthcare provider with vulnerable patients, we're continuing these requirements in alignment with recommendations from public health authorities. Our top priority is the safety of our patients, visitors, employees, and community. We will continue to provide updates about Behavioral Health programs and facilities and post the latest information on our COVID-19 page.

If you are in crisis, please call the Central Coast Hotline at (800) 783-0607. You may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HELLO to ‘741-741’.

If you need to begin Behavioral Health services, please call the access line at (800) 838-1381.

Visit for the latest public health updates and recommendations or call the SLO Public Health information line at (805) 788-2903.

The Adult Mental Health Services Division delivers a range of treatment services from outpatient to inpatient levels of care in order to provide compassionate, safe, timely and effective behavioral health services for individuals with mental health disabilities. 

Regional outpatient clinics provide multi-disciplinary treatment teams which collaborate with clients on their treatment goals in order to improve their wellness, recovery and resiliency in the community. 

The array of mental health services include assessment, individual and group therapy, psychiatric medication services, rehabilitative services, education and case management.


Adult Full Service Partnership (FSP)

The Adult Full Service Partnership (FSP) program provides 24/7 intensive community-based wrap around services to help people in recovery live independently. The FSP Program is an intensive case management Team that works with program participants on a variety of rehabilitative services. FSP programs are funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Adult Mental Health Outpatient Treatment

Adult Outpatient Mental Health Treatment services are provided to help determine your mental health treatment needs and meet your treatment goals. 

Please contact our access line at 1 (800) 838-1381 for information or to schedule an appointment. All services are available in Spanish.

Services include:

  • Screening, Assessment and Treatment Recommendations
  • Treatment Planning
  • Individual and Group Psychotherapy
  • Medication Services
  • Psychiatry
  • Case Management
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Residential Options as they are available

Other programs include:

Adult Residential Programs

The Behavioral Health Department assists in making referrals for the placement of adults in mental health residential programs and secure mental health residential programs. This service is primarily available to clients who are receiving County Mental Health Services and who are on Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorship. Individuals or families can contact the assigned mental health provider for further information.  

Crisis Stabilization Unit

The Crisis Stabilization Unit is a 24-hour voluntary residential care facility that is in place for crisis intervention, assessment, evaluation, collateral, medication support services, therapy, peer support, etc. to avoid unnecessary hospitalization and incarceration while improving wellness for individuals with mental health disorders and their families.

Services include:

  1. Individual and Family Counseling
  2. Medication Monitoring
  3. Life Skills Enhancement
  4. Development of needed resources, personal goals, and follow-up service plans.

Homeless Outreach Full Service Partnership

San Luis Obispo County’s Full Service Partnership for homeless individuals is a Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) program that provides outreach, assessment, and 24/7 intensive community-based wrap around services to help people achieve recovery and live independently.

Access to mental health services is the primary barrier to serving the homeless and this program focuses on outreach to unserved, difficult-to-reach populations. This will engage clients in health care, mental health treatment, and housing.

Services include:
  • Supportive care, case management, and rehabilitative mental health services.
  • Regular appointments with psychiatrists.
  • Regular access to medical services.
  • Highly individualized treatment, medication and personal milestones.
  • Support groups addressing other medical issues requiring maintenance and medication.
  • The development of independent living skills, including cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, conflict resolution, money management, and social skills.
  • Co-occurring disorder support groups for clients who also have problems with substance abuse.
  • Vocational and educational opportunities.

For more information please contact our access line at 1 (800) 838-1381

The program is conducted by Transitions-Mental Health Association.

Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET)

The Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) assists the community, hospitals, and law enforcement with:

  • Emergency psychiatric evaluation services to determine whether immediate inpatient psychiatric treatment is required;
  • Crisis intervention services and mental health consultations;
  • Improving access to mental health treatment services through linkage and/or referral to community services; and
  • Timely post-crisis follow up to ensure linkage to appropriate resources.


The County has partnered with Sierra Mental Wellness Group as its provider of MHET services. Interventions are client oriented, and wellness and recovery-centered, to maximize the ability of the individual to manage the crisis. Additionally, this immediate stabilization response is supplemented with a next day follow-up for non-hospitalized clients to continue support and provide assistance in following through with referrals and appointments.

Older Adult Full Service Partnership (FSP)

The Older Adult Full Services Partnership (FSP) provides an intensive intervention team for older adults (age 60+) with a serious mental illness. FSP programs provide a "whatever it takes" approach to promoting and encouraging wellness for enrolled FSP clients. FSP programs are funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Psychiatric Health Facility (Inpatient)

The Behavioral Health Department operates a 16-bed, licensed Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF). The PHF provides observation and treatment for acute mental illness under licensed psychiatric direction.

1 (800) 838-1381 
Psychiatric crisis emergency number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
The Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) is an inpatient facility that treats individuals in psychiatric crisis who cannot be safely served in outpatient services. 

  • A psychiatric crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual is exhibiting extreme mental health symptoms, considering harm to self or others, disoriented or out of touch with reality and has a compromised ability to function safely.

The PHF is operated by the County under a license issued and regulated by the State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as a facility for:

  • 72 hours of psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Patients have a right to refuse medication unless there is a court order for medication or the patient is displaying imminently dangerous behavior toward self or others, and the doctor orders involuntary medication (W&I code 5325.2).

There are subsequent fourteen (14) day legal holds that may be enacted if the individual continues to meet medical necessity criteria. All additional holds require judicial review. Patients have rights and are provided legal representation by the Public Defenders Office. Patients also have access to a Patients’ Rights Advocate.
The PHF is staffed by a Behavioral Health Program Supervisor, an RN Nursing Supervisor, Psychiatrists, Registered Nurses, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Psychiatric Technicians, Vocational Nurses, and Behavioral Health Workers. Contracted services include Primary Care Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Rehabilitation Services, and Dietary Services.
The PHF is licensed to treat 16 patients at any point in time.  The PHF serves:

  • Individuals who, per Welfare &Institutions Code 5150, may be involuntarily detained due to indications they are, as a result of a mental disorder, a danger to self, danger to others, or may be gravely mentally disabled
  • Misdemeanants in custody of the County jail, determined by the Court to be incompetent to stand trial (per Penal Code 1370).  Inmates are treated at the PHF to restore them to competency, in order for them to participate in their legal proceedings.
  • Conserved individuals (gravely mentally disabled and permanently housed elsewhere) in need of stabilization.

The PHF is the only such facility within San Luis Obispo County. The nearest alternative 5150 facilities are located in Salinas, Santa Barbara, and Fresno/Bakersfield, and are often also at or near their licensed capacity. Approximately 340 individuals are transferred directly from our area hospitals to out-of-County alternative inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities every year.
PHF admission criteria is set forth in the Welfare & Institutions Code 5150, and California Code of Regulations, Title 22. Individuals are assessed by qualified professionals for admission. 
Admission criteria includes:
As a result of a mental disorder*, the individual is deemed to be:

  1. A danger to Self,
  2. A danger to Others,
  3. Gravely Disabled (no ability to nourish oneself, obtain clothing or shelter, no third party caregiver).(Welfare & Institutions Code 5150)

 *mental health conditions covered by CCR Title IX 1820.205

It is often important that individuals receive a medical clearance prior to receiving a mental health evaluation for inpatient psychiatric treatment for the following reasons:

  • The PHF is free standing, with no medical support attached. 
  • Medical support is provided by local hospitals.

The following regulatory criteria describe persons who may not be legally retained in the PHF:

  1. Only persons diagnosed with major mental disorders are to be treated in PHFs.
  2. PHF shall not admit and treat patients with the primary diagnosis of an eating disorder.
  3. PHF shall not admit and treat patients when the primary diagnosis is chemical dependency, chemical intoxication or chemical withdrawal.
  4. Individuals with major mental disorders shall not be admitted to PHF if their treatment requires medical interventions beyond the level appropriate to a psychiatric health facility including:
    • Detoxification from substance abuse
    • Treatment for substance induced delirium. (22 CCR 77113)

Persons with a communicable disease that is required to be reported (per 17 CCR 2500), shall not be admitted to the facility. Examples are active treatment resistant infections (MRSA), Tuberculosis, etc.
A facility shall accept and retain only those patients for whom it can provide adequate medical care.  

“…when a patient’s particular injury or disease would ordinarily be treated on an outpatient basis absent the mental disorder, the facility may admit the patient only if the facility has appropriate policies, procedures and resources to ensure the safety of other patients and staff.”

Examples of such medical conditions are some types of Diabetes, and patients requiring supplemental oxygen, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
(22 CCR  77135)
The law precludes the PHF from housing patients who are non-ambulatory, meaning they are unable to transfer their own weight.
(Health & Safety Code Section 1275.1)

Patients who are voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to the PHF for psychiatric evaluation or treatment may have visitors during regularly schedule visiting hours (6:30pm - 8:00pm). All visitors must be 18 years of age or older. No outside food or drinks are allowed. For more information on visiting the PHF, please see our PHF Visitors Policy.

The Psychiatric Health Facility Program Supervisor can be reached at (805) 781-4752
The Patients’ Rights Advocate can be reached at (805) 781-4738

Please contact our access line at 1 (800) 838-1381 for information or to schedule an appointment. All services are available in Spanish.