September 27, 2022: Mental Health Support

Greetings Families,

We hope that your break is off to a great start.

If you or someone that you love is in need of mental health emergency support over break, resources are available below.

Crisis and Emergency

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

There are also several hotlines that can provide specific assistance:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone if you or a loved one is considering harming themselves or experiencing emotional distress.
  • Access and Crisis Line: (888) 724-7240

Access and Crisis Line

The San Diego Access & Crisis Line (ACL) offers immediate support and resources from an experienced counselor on all behavioral health topics including suicide prevention, crisis intervention, community resources, mental health referrals, alcohol and drug support services, and more. Confidential and free of charge, the line is immediately answered 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by Master’s-level and Licensed Clinicians. If you need help with a behavioral health crisis or know someone who does, call the Access & Crisis Line (888) 724-7240

Learn More

Crisis Line 888 724-7240 7 Days a Week 24 Hours a Day

Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT)

Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT) provide in-person support to anyone, anywhere, experiencing a mental health, drug, or alcohol-related crisis. MCRT dispatches behavioral health experts to emergency calls instead of law enforcement, when appropriate, with teams made up of clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists.If you need help or know of someone who does:

  • Call the County’s Access and Crisis Line: (888) 724-7240
  • An Access and Crisis Line clinician will assess the situation for risk and safety through a series of questions and may refer to MCRT or another resource as appropriate.

CVESD Family Resources Centers:

Emergency and Crisis Services for Children and Youth (San Diego)

Emergency Screening Unit

According to Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations, an “Emergency Psychiatric Condition” is defined as a condition in which a person, due to a mental disorder, is a current danger to self or others or is immediately unable to provide for or utilize food, shelter or clothing. This situation indicates an immediate need for psychiatric inpatient hospitalization or psychiatric health facility assessment.

Crisis children’s services are available at the Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240. (TDD/TYY for the hearing impaired). Spanish speaking counselors are available most hours, and interpretation is accessible in over 140 languages through language interpreting services 24/7. (Dial 7-1-1 or English Voice/TTY: 800-855-7100 Spanish Voice/TTY: 800-855-7200).

Emergency mental health services are available at the Emergency Screening Unit (ESU) for children and adolescents under age 18 who are experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis.

Emergency Screening Unit (ESU): 619-876-4502
4309 Third Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Telephone: (619) 876-4502

Please call in advance if possible.

The Emergency Screening Unit (ESU) provides emergency psychiatric evaluations, crisis intervention, crisis stabilization, brief outpatient counseling, case management and emergency medication management to children and adolescents under age 18.

The unit is open 24 hours/7 days a week, and serves the entire County.

ESU serves the Medi-Cal population and those who do not have any medical coverage. Although those with private insurance can be seen at ESU, it is advised that the private insurance clients receive services at facilities and agencies authorized by the insurance company.

Clients are assessed as to the types of services they need, with integrated attention to mental health, physical health and substance-related issues. If hospitalization is not required, appropriate community referrals are made.

For more information, please call 619-876-4502.

Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT)

The County of San Diego offers Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT) as a service option for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. MCRTs are comprised of licensed mental health clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists who can respond to behavioral health crisis calls that do not involve known threats of violence or medical emergencies. For further information on the MCRT program and how to access services, visit the MCRT web page.

For PERT services, please call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.

Chula Vista Police Department PERT Team: (619) 691.5151

When to Seek Help for your Child:



Helping Children Cope:

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