Top 4 Mental Health Hospitals in California

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical well-being because they’re closely linked. 

Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act, and mental illnesses are common in California, with nearly 1 in 7 adults experiencing them, and 1 in 26 facing serious mental health issues impacting daily life. 

Even 1 in 14 children deals with emotional disturbances affecting family, school, or community life. These numbers likely increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of mental health resources available, including psychiatry programs and clinics throughout California.

Keep reading to find out about the top mental health hospitals in California and what mental health services you can get in the state. 

But many people in California also use BetterHelp, an online service to talk to licensed therapists.  It’s easy to use and gives you quick access to professional help for your mental health. Sign up now and start talking to a therapist who can give you the support you need.

Benefits of Treating Mental Health Conditions in California

Taking care of your mental health is really important and California is great at supporting that. 

One big benefit is the Mental Health Parity Act. This law makes sure that insurance companies pay for mental health services just like they do for medical or surgical ones. 

So, it’s easier for people in California to get help without worrying too much about money.

Also, there are programs like Proposition 63 that give money specifically for mental health services. This makes it easier to find treatment programs and support groups. 

In California, there are specialized treatment centers that help people with mental health issues, no matter their age. 

They deal with lots of different problems, like substance abuse, and they make sure to help each person in the best way for them. 

California is also good at emergency services like Crisis Care and Telehealth, so you can get help quickly when you need it. 

Plus, there are plenty of mental health professionals in California, like therapists and counselors, so you have lots of choices for getting the help that’s right for you. 

If you’re dealing with mental health issues, California has supportive services, strong legal protections, and plenty of resources to help you get better.

Best Mental Health Hospitals in California


1. Ocean View Adult Psychiatric Hospital  

Ocean View is a mental health hospital in California. They have 39 beds and are approved by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Joint Commission. 

They specialize in making personalized treatment plans for adults with different mental health issues.

They’re important to the community because they offer really good services for people who need to stay in the hospital. 

Most of their rooms are private, which they think is important for making patients feel better. 

Studies show that private rooms help patients feel less stressed, sleep better, get better faster, and feel like their privacy and dignity are respected.

Ocean View also offers programs where people don’t have to stay in the hospital all the time.

These programs include the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Outpatient Psychiatric Services (OPS).

2. Van Nuys Behavioral Health Hospital

Van Nuys offers both physical and mental health care to support people dealing with life’s challenges.

Their behavioural health division includes a 57-bed hospital, providing urgent inpatient and outpatient mental health services for those who voluntarily seek help.

They also offer psychiatric services to individuals voluntarily seeking treatment for conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and others.

Using a comprehensive approach to treatment, their behavioural health network covers Van Nuys, Culver City, and Bellflower, with over 160 beds available.

The Van Nuys Behavioral Health Hospital provides round-the-clock supervision in a hospital setting for both inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment.

Their services range from individual therapy and group therapy to couples counselling and skill-building classes, all aimed at addressing various mental health issues.

Their treatment programs are thorough and tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient.

3. Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center

Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center, established in 1953 in Los Angeles, California, is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering comprehensive mental health care.

Their team likely consists of various experts such as psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and nurses who work together to provide holistic care.

They probably utilize different effective therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and medication management.

Their inpatient programs, with 27 beds, likely cater to adults dealing with severe mental health issues or co-occurring disorders.

Gateways also offers outpatient programs tailored specifically for children, adolescents, and adults.

These programs aim to provide ongoing support and equip patients with skills to manage their conditions.

They may include individual therapy, group sessions, family counselling, medication assistance, assistance with social services, and educational workshops.

4. Aurora Behavioral Healthcare San Diego Hospital

Aurora Behavioral Healthcare San Diego Hospital specializes in helping adults who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. 

Their Inpatient Treatment Program provides a safe place for adults facing urgent mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and trauma.

This program offers constant monitoring, medication management, different therapy sessions (both one-on-one and group), teaching life skills, and help with returning to normal life.

They also offer a Residential Treatment program for people who need longer-term care for mental health and/or substance abuse problems.

This program includes organized living arrangements and intense therapy.

If someone is going through withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, Aurora provides supervised detox in a clinical setting.

They create personalized treatment plans for each patient, considering their specific needs and diagnoses.

Some parts of Aurora Behavioral Healthcare also include holistic approaches like yoga, meditation, and nutritional counselling to improve overall well-being.

Inpatient and Outpatient Services in California

In California, hospitals have different types of programs to help people dealing with mental health issues.

Inpatient programs give you care 24/7 in a safe place. They’re best for people going through really tough times like feeling suicidal, having severe anxiety, or dealing with psychosis, where they need help right away. 

These programs also help with substance abuse and watch over you while you go through detox to keep you safe.

If you’re struggling with both mental health and substance abuse, inpatient programs can help with both at the same time. 

Experts are always there to make sure you’re safe and to guide you through treatment. 

They also provide therapy sessions, both one-on-one and in groups, to help you learn how to cope and avoid going back to old habits.

On the other hand, outpatient programs don’t require you to stay in the hospital all the time.

They’re good if you have a strong support system at home and can help you while you still go about your daily life. 

They offer flexible scheduling so you can keep up with work, school, or other important things. 

Outpatient care is usually cheaper than inpatient treatment. After you’ve gone through intense treatment, outpatient programs help you get back into your normal routine and provide ongoing therapy and support groups.

Want to know more about mental health hospitals, check these out:

  1. 5 Best Mental Health Hospitals in Las Vegas Nevada
  2. Mental Health Hospitals in Mississippi: Top 7 Hospitals
  3. 6 Best Mental Health Hospitals in New Orleans

Top Mental Health Professionals in California


In California, there are lots of skilled mental health experts. They each have lots of experience and care a lot about helping people. Some of them are listed below.

1. Penny Greaves

Penny Greaves is a seasoned Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with over two decades of nursing expertise. 

She earned her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree from National University in 2021 and holds dual certification from both the ANCC in psychiatry and the AANP in family practice. 

With extensive experience, Penny specializes in working with adults, including those dealing with addictions, complex mental health issues, geriatrics, and dementia. 

She is deeply committed to ensuring equitable access to high-quality mental health care. 

Her approach includes utilizing therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Mindfulness-Based (MBCT), and Motivational Interviewing to provide comprehensive support to her patients.

2. Joseph Gulino, M.D.

Joseph Gulino, M.D., runs a top-notch psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California. 

He’s certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for both adult and child psychiatry. 

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Gulino specializes in helping adults, teenagers, and children with various mental health issues. 

His expertise covers anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, substance use problems, OCD, autism, excessive screen time, and childhood behavioural issues.

Dr. Gulino provides a range of effective treatments including therapy, medication management, lifestyle counseling, and more. 

He warmly welcomes patients to Beverly Hills Psychiatry and goes above and beyond to meet their mental health needs. 

To book an appointment, just call Beverly Hills Psychiatry at 310-388-5379.

3. Evangeline Luriz

Evangeline Luriz believes in treating patients in a way that looks at their whole well-being, not just their symptoms. She knows how important it is to build trust with patients. 

As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), she specializes in helping people with different mental health issues. 

She focuses on mood problems like feeling very sad and having extreme mood swings, as well as anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD.

Evangeline is caring and listens to her patients in a friendly setting. She wants them to feel comfortable talking openly with her. 

Her way of helping is based on what has been proven to work and what each person needs.

She uses different ways of helping, like talking about feelings, focusing on strengths, and dealing with past traumas. If you want to reach her, you can call her at (310) 692-7919.

4. Toni Ann Locke

Toni Ann Locke is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who holds dual certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. 

She is board-certified and specializes in helping adult patients aged 19-55 with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and ADHD.

In addition to prescribing medications, Toni Ann incorporates a blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) into her treatment approach. 

She draws from humanistic and cognitive perspectives in her practice.

For appointments or inquiries, you can reach Toni Ann Locke at (916) 885-5278.

5. Robert McLay

Robert McLay is a psychiatrist and pain medicine specialist with certifications in three areas.

While he has a particular interest in helping military members, their families, and individuals facing high-performance challenges, he’s equipped to assist anyone dealing with mental health issues. 

His expertise lies in treating Trauma, PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression. 

He offers various treatments such as individual therapy, medication management, and advanced techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation, which can help with depression, pain, trauma, cognitive function, and peak performance. 

Robert also provides consultations and speaks to organizations and large groups. If you’re seeking guidance or support, you can contact Robert at (619) 393-7968.


How do you get someone admitted to a mental hospital in California?

To get someone into a mental hospital in California, there are two main ways: voluntary and involuntary.
If someone goes in voluntarily, they can ask for help from a mental health expert or go directly to the hospital and say they need help.
If it’s involuntary, someone else like a family member or the police has to ask the court for permission because they’re worried about the person’s safety or others’ safety.

How long can a mental hospital keep you in California?

In California, the length of time someone can be kept in a mental hospital depends on their situation.
If admitted on a 72-hour hold, they can be held for up to 72 hours for evaluation and treatment. If further treatment is needed after that, they can be kept for an additional 14 days under a 14-day hold.
Beyond that, if more treatment is necessary, a person can be placed under a conservatorship or involuntary treatment for longer periods, but this requires a court order.
The exact duration varies based on individual circumstances and the recommendation of mental health professionals and the court.

Does California have mental health courts? 

Yes, California does have mental health courts. These courts are for people with mental health issues who are in trouble with the law.
Instead of just punishing them, these courts focus on getting them help and getting them back on track. They’re all about treatment and getting better, not just punishment.

What happens during a 72-hour psych hold in California?

In California, when someone is put on a 72-hour psych hold, it means they’re kept in a mental health facility against their will for up to 72 hours.
This happens if they’re seen as a risk to themselves or others because of a mental health problem.
While they’re there, doctors and other experts check them to see if they need more treatment or if they can go home.
If they’re no longer seen as a danger or in need of treatment, they can leave. But if they still need help, they might stay longer or get further treatment.

Manuel Alejandro Patiño

Personal and professionally focused on integral wellness in mind, emotions, and body, as the main key to preventing toxic stress and chronic diseases. I try to be an example of what I teach, healing not just from the knowledge. I am also very adaptable to employeer’s requirements. I can understand and speak Spanish, English, and German very fluently.

More than 7 years of experience practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga and other meditation