Prevention & Outreach Services


Cannabis Health and Safety

Cannabis comes with important health and safety considerations, specifically for young people, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and people with other health conditions. It’s important for everyone to get the facts. Keep reading for FAQs and science-based resources for more information.

College Prevention & Wellness

A new program funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to increase on-campus exposure to mental health and wellness promotion through training and activities at both Cal Poly and Cuesta College.

Community Counseling

Local Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds support community counseling providers who offer low or no cost, brief, low-intensity group and individual counseling to adults, who are uninsured or under-insured.

Community Services and Supports (CSS)

The County of San Luis Obispo Community Services and Supports (CSS) plan focuses on children and families, transitional aged youth (TAY), adults, and older adults who have the most severe and persistent mental illnesses or serious emotional disturbances.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment for Adolescents

This program, funded by the County's Mental Health Services Act work plan, was developed to serve adolescents and young adults (age 15-21) experiencing significant mental health and substance-related problems at the same time.

Cultural Competence Committee

The Cultural Competence Committee (CCC) meets quarterly to monitor the training, policies, and procedures of the public mental health system and their relative enhancements of cultural competence in serving consumers and families. The primary objective of the group is to coordinate training to improve engagement with under served populations.

Customer Awareness Response Effort (CARE)- Not for Ourselves Alone

The “Not for Ourselves Alone” Customer Awareness Response Effort (CARE)  Innovation Program funded by Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds, provides trauma-informed care training across public agencies and programs in the County of San Luis Obispo. The training program offers knowledge, principles and tools to better help customer-service facing staff serve community members experiencing trauma, chronic stress, or mental illness.


Drug Free Communities 101

This federal grant is aimed at providing Cal Poly and Cuesta College campuses and their surrounding communities with prevention strategies to address underage drinking – specifically for youth transitioning from high school to college - and reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse.

Friday Night Live/Club Live/Cal Poly FNL

Friday Night Live (FNL) programs were established in California in 1984, and in San Luis Obispo County in 1991. Using recognized best practices, FNL builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development which engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities.

The Behavioral Health Department partners with the Friday Night Live Partnership of San Luis Obispo County - a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization which supports programming.

For more information, please call us at (805) 781-4289.

Innovation (INN)

Implemented in 2011, the San Luis Obispo County's Innovation (INN) component gives our County a unique opportunity to work with the communities to develop new, best mental health practices. Innovation projects are designed mainly to contribute to learning, rather than simply providing a service and all projects must be new and creative and have not been duplicated in another community. Innovation projects are similar to pilot or demonstration projects and all are subject to time limitations to assess and evaluate their efficacy.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)

The passage of Proposition 63 (now known as the Mental Health Services Act or MHSA) in November 2004, provides the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for mental health. 

Middle School Comprehensive Program

The Middle School Comprehensive project is an integrated collaboration between the Behavioral Health Department, schools, and community based organizations. This program aims to promote emotional wellness and identify students that may be in need of helping services.

Older Adult Mental Health Project

With the support of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding, Wilshire Community Service, Inc. provides multi-level services for seniors at risk for mental illness.

Opioid Safety Coalition

The County formed the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition in January 2016 to address the local epidemic of opioid (painkiller medication and heroin) misuse with grant funding from the California HealthCare Foundation. The Department received one of 12 grants from the California HealthCare Foundation to help address the opioid epidemic locally.


Opioid Safety Coalition

The Behavioral Health Department received one of 12 grants from the California HealthCare Foundation to help address the misuse of prescription painkillers locally.

Parent Education and Support Programs

With the support of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding, the Center for Family Strengthening provides coordination of parenting resources, parent education classes, and parent coaching services.
This includes provision of bilingual and bicultural parenting classes.

Positive Development Program

With the support of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) provides side by side facilitation of a Pre-K life skills curricula and behavior assessment tools for private daycares and preschools throughout the county.


Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)

Implemented in 2008, the County of San Luis Obispo's Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)programs include outreach and education; efforts to increase access to under served populations; improved linkage and referrals at the earliest possible onset of mental illness; and the reduction of stigma and discrimination. Prevention involves increasing protective factors and diminishing an individual's risk factors for developing mental illness. Mental health and wellness are improved by helping individuals cope with risk factors and develop stronger protective factors. Early Intervention programs are intended to prevent mental illness from becoming severe, and reduce the duration of untreated severe mental illness, allowing people to live fulfilling, productive lives.

Residential Wellness Counseling Program

This Federally funded grant program is aimed at providing local college campuses with early intervention resources to address students at risk of or experiencing First Episode Psychosis (FEP).

Rural Community Youth & Family Outreach

Funded through local Preventive Health Grants, these programs provide outreach to youth and families in the rural regions of the county and focus on Latino students and families.

Student Support Counseling

The Behavioral Health Department's Prevention and Outreach division provides student support counseling services at schools throughout the County. Referrals into the program are made directly through the school. See the list of participating schools below for more information.

Successful Launch

With the support of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding, Cuesta College provides high risk transitional aged youth (TAY) with supportive life-skill services intended to facilitate self-sufficiency and independent living - critical to successful early adulthood.

Suicide Prevention

The Suicide Prevention Program oversees organized County activities to prevent suicide as a consequence of mental illness. Programs include public and targeted information campaigns, suicide prevention hotlines, training, and education.

Veterans Outreach

The Veteran’s Outreach Program provides increased outreach and access to mental health services for veterans, by providing rehabilitative activities and counseling services. The County hosts various physical, rehabilitative activities for veterans and their families throughout the year in various locations. Events are open to all veterans or active military members in San Luis Obispo County. Family members or guests of veterans or active military members may accompany when appropriate.

Please see the calendar below for upcoming events. You may click on an event to see view details such as the event flyer and registration.

Veterans Treatment Services

The Behavioral Health Department's Veterans Mental Health Therapist provides individual and group therapy services for veterans and their family members. The therapist is housed at the Veterans Service Office in San Luis Obispo, a culturally competent environment for veterans and their families to seek support and engage in behavioral health services, and also offers services to participants of Veterans Treatment Court.

Services may include:

  • Screening, Assessment and Treatment Recommendations
  • Treatment Planning
  • Individual and Group Psychotherapy
  • Access to Psychiatry and Medication services
  • Resource and referral to Veterans benefits services

Please call (805) 748-2403 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

The Veterans Treatment Program is part of the Mental Health Services Act plan, and provided by the Behavioral Health Department. For more information on Veterans services and benefits, please visit the County's Veterans Services Office page.

Wellness Advocates

Transitions Mental Health Association (TMHA) provides advocates to link people referred from PEI projects in need of social supports and basic needs

Young Adult Counseling

This Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funded prevention and early intervention program provides free counseling and early identification of mental health issues for transitional aged youth (16-25) who do not have access to counseling or therapy.

For more information, please call the Young Adult Counseling program at (805) 781-4290.

Youth & Family Substance Use Treatment

A full array of outpatient treatment services, including those that require family involvement, such as group counseling, family counseling, multi-family groups, and individual youth counseling for adolescents with substance use disorders (SUD).

Services include:

  • Case Management
  • Drug Testing
  • Psychotherapy
  • Screening and Assessment
  • Treatment Planning
  • Walk-In Clinics (see this page for locations and times)

Other programs include: