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Behavioral Health Menu

Behavioral Health Division

The Behavioral Health Division provides a wide range of prevention and treatment options for Santa Cruz County adults, children and their families.

Message to BH Patients
The Health Services Agency is anticipating a labor strike beginning January 25th that may temporarily impact our ability to provide services. The Behavioral Health Division values maintaining trust and transparency with our clients, families and the community, and we hope for a quick resolution that gets us back to being available to continue supporting you all. Our phones will continue to be answered and our doors will remain open for limited services. However, routine services will be discontinued for the duration of the strike. In the event of a life-threatening emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

La Agencia de Servicios de Salud anticipa una huelga laboral a partir del 25 de enero que puede afectar temporalmente nuestra capacidad para brindar servicios. La División de Salud Mental y Tratamiento del Uso de Sustancias valora mantener la confianza y la transparencia con nuestros clientes, familias y la comunidad, y esperamos una resolución rápida que nos permita volver a estar disponibles para continuar apoyándolos a todos. Nuestros teléfonos seguirán siendo contestados y nuestras puertas permanecerán abiertas para servicios limitados. Sin embargo, los servicios de rutina se suspenderán durante la duración de la huelga. En caso de una emergencia que ponga en peligro la vida, llame al 911 o vaya a la sala de emergencias más cercana.

Behavioral Health Director, Erik G. Riera
I have received a lot of questions about our response to COVID-19. I want to let you know that we remain open and available to serve you and your family. We will continue to provide mental health and substance use disorder services to our community. We have, however, made some changes to the way we deliver services:

  • Most of our staff are working from other locations. They are providing services by phone or videoconferencing, which we refer to as “Telehealth”. They will continue to support our clients and families and remain committed to helping our community through these difficult times.
  • We are expanding capacity to provide services in the office for those that do not have access to the technology needed for a face to face telehealth appointment. Your provider will work with you to schedule a time to come in, or you can call and let us know that you would like to see a provider using the telehealth model.
  • In our different locations, we are screening for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 to make sure that anyone who is sick is supported in staying home. This is done to prevent infection to other people. Everyone coming to our sites will have their temperature checked and asked questions about other symptoms that may show they are sick and need to stay home.
  • We are working with our community partners to also ensure services continue to be available to you. We are all here to work together in supporting you. This includes our support of the shelter in place order, and social distancing standards so that we can all help prevent the spread of this disease.
  • We know these are difficult times. We know that this can be hard for everyone. Please reach out to us if you need help or support. If you are not yet connected to services, and need assistance, we are here to help as well. If we are not the right provider to work with you, we will point you in the right direction and help connect you with someone who can help.

NEW! The County of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce the launch of the South County Mobile Emergency Response Team for Youth (MERTY), providing community and field-based crisis intervention services to youth age 21 and younger.
  • Adult Mental Health Services
    Provides clinical services for transition age youth (18-25), adult recovery (25-59), older adults (over 60) and Forensic and Jail Treatment for adults in need of mental health treatment.
  • Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services
    Provides services for youth including assessment, individual, family, and group therapy, school based day treatment, family support, and evaluation for psychiatric hospitalization.
  • Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH)
    Multidisciplinary team that seeks to bridge the gap between physical and behavioral health by providing collaborative, patient centered, trauma informed services in the primary care setting.
  • Substance Use Disorders Services (SUDS) 
    Provides services related to alcohol and drug prevention, intervention, treatment and education.
  • Cruz to Health
    Cruz to Health is a Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot project authorized and funded under California’s MediCal 2020 waiver to test county-based initiatives to improve care management of individuals with chronic co-occurring health conditions and repeated and avoidable medical and/or psychiatric hospitalizations.
  • Mental Health Advisory Board
    The Santa Cruz County Mental Health Advisory Board provides advice to the governing body (Board of Supervisors) and the local mental health director. They provide oversight and monitoring of the local mental health system as well as advocacy for persons with mental illness.
  • Mental Health Services Act
    The purpose of the Mental Health Services Act is to expand and improve mental health services and transform the mental health system.
  • Mental Health Service Outcomes
    California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Mental Health Performance Outcome Measures for youths and adults.
  • Public Guardian
    Manages the property, finances and personal care needs of county individuals who are substantially unable to provide for themselves. This is accomplished through Conservatorship
  • Web Resources
    In addition to providing services, there are many other national, state and local mental health resources available for research and information. 



  • This video was produced by the Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health Law Enforcement Liaison Program. 
  • This video was produced by the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz illustrating the power of Recovery and their Community Connections Program.  The Volunteer Center is a contract partner of Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health.

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Client Service

How to Receive
Mental Health Services

Como obtener servicios de Salud Mental

How to Receive
Substance Use Disorder (SUDS) Services

(800) 952-2335
24-Hour Access Line

(831) 454-4170
Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm
1400 Emeline Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA
(831) 763-8200
Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm
1430 Freedom Blvd.
Suite F
Watsonville, CA

For hearing impaired clients: Dial 711
or send us an email

What to Do in Case of a Mental Health Emergency

Behavioral Health Crisis Services

Suicide Prevention Service

Resources for Traumatic Events or Disasters

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What's New

Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Plan Update FY2021 - The State of California requires each County Behavioral Health system to have a "Cultural Competence" plan.

MHSA Annual Three-Year Plan FY 2018-19

Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)
A clinical assessment tool to facilitate the linkage between the assessment process and the design of individualized service plans including the application of evidence-based practices.

QI Work Plan FY20-21

QI Work Plan Evaluation FY19-20

New! MHP Consumer Survey
MHP Adult Survey 2020
MHP Youth Survey 202

New! DMC-ODS Consumer Survey
DMC-ODS Adult TPS 2020
DMC-ODS Youth TPS 2020

New! External Quality Review (EQRO) Report