Your County Government Community
Kids & Families
Environment Public Safety Jobs

About HHSA
All Services A-Z
Event Schedule
News Releases
Advisory Boards
Search HHSA

Related Links

Adult/Older Adult SOC
Behavioral Health Administration
Emergency and Crisis Services
Case Management
Community Events and Announcements
Forensic Services
Guide to Medi-Cal Mental Health Services
Hospital Services
Information and Referral
Medical Records
Behavioral Health MIS
Network of Care
Outpatient Centers
Suicide Intervention
Technical Resource Library
Psychiatric Hospital
Children Youth and Families SOC
Alcohol and Drug Services
Current Solicitations

Mental Health Services Eligibility

Printer Friendly
Font Size Extra Large Font Size Large Font Size Default
Behavioral Health Services

Who We Serve

County-funded public mental health services are intended for persons who either have a mental illness and require mental health services in order to function in school, at home or in the community, or persons who are experiencing a mental health crisis (such as depression, suicidal thoughts, or extreme anxiety). 

By definition, clients eligible for the County's services are those that cannot be appropriately treated within a primary care environment, or by a primary care physician. Services are targeted for the Medi-Cal and uninsured population who meet the criteria for income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. All services are rendered without regard to race, color, creed, or disability. 


San Diego County Mental Health Services may be provided to:

  • Persons with Medi-Cal,
  • Persons with low income, no income, and no health insurance. (For more information call the Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240.)

In addition to insurance and income criteria, the person needs to meet the "medical necessity criteria" described below:

  • A diagnosable mental illness or serious emotional disorder for children and adolescents;
  • Difficulty functioning in an important area of life-functioning, or the probability of significant deterioration in an important area of life, or for children and adolescents a probability that a child will not progress developmentally as individually appropriate;
  • The expectation is that the proposed treatment will significantly reduce the problem or prevent significant deterioration in an important area of life-functioning or allow a child to progress developmentally as individually appropriate;
  • A condition that would not be responsive to physical health care based treatment.

Voluntary or Involuntary

Individuals must be voluntary for most services including: Outpatient and Case Management Services, Day Treatment Services (children and adolescents only), and Crisis Residential Services.

Some services are provided even though an individual is not voluntary, but is currently a danger to themselves or others, or gravely disabled, which means they are unable to take care of basic needs such as clothing or shelter. Involuntary services include:

Emergency Services

Emergency services are provided to all who need them. Emergency services include:

  • Access and Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
  • Emergency Psychiatric Unit (Adults): (619) 692-8222
  • Emergency Screening Unit for Children and Adolescents:(619) 421-6900
  • Hospital Services: (619) 692-8200