7 Best Mental Health Hospitals in San Diego CA

Mental health hospitals play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing essential care and support to individuals struggling with mental health issues. 

These facilities offer a safe and supportive environment for patients to receive treatment, manage their symptoms, and work toward recovery. 

Mental health hospitals are staffed by trained professionals, including psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, and nurses, dedicated to helping patients achieve mental wellness.

In San Diego, California, several mental health hospitals provide high-quality care and services to those in need.

In this article, we will explore the different mental health hospitals in San Diego CA, highlighting their unique features, services, and programs.

We will also enlist some of the best mental health professionals in the area, and explore the different types of services offered by them. 

Best Mental Health Hospitals in San Diego CA


Following are some of the best mental health hospitals in San Diego, CA. 

1. San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital

San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital offers round-the-clock care for adults aged 18 and above facing mental health challenges. 

The hospital’s primary goal is to assist individuals during mental health crises, stabilize them, and transition them to a less restrictive care setting.

They operate in a compassionate and welcoming environment, staffed by dedicated medical and clinical professionals. 

The hospital provides a range of services, including psychiatric assessment, intervention, and stabilization in their emergency psychiatric unit.

They also offer inpatient mental health care, and supportive services in the crisis recovery unit. 

These supportive services encompass nursing, social services, recreational therapy, nutritional services, pharmaceutical care, peer support, and substance use services.

All patients start in the emergency psychiatric unit, where admission decisions are collaboratively made between the patient and the attending psychiatrist.

Additionally, the hospital offers care coordination to ensure continuity of care post-discharge. 

When accessing services, individuals can arrive independently, be brought in by a loved one or the mobile crisis response team, or be transported by law enforcement. 

2. Mental Health Center of San Diego

The Mental Health Center of San Diego offers compassionate and comprehensive mental health care to individuals of all ages in San Diego and neighboring areas. 

With a team of experienced professionals, they specialize in treating a broad spectrum of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and more. 

Their facility provides a comforting, home-like atmosphere designed to promote healing, complemented by lifestyle amenities for added comfort during the recovery process. 

Services range from residential treatment to outpatient support, ensuring tailored care to meet individual needs. 

To begin the journey towards improved mental well-being, individuals can reach out to their Admissions Team.

With their team, patients then undergo a detailed clinical assessment for a personalized treatment plan and connect with a supportive community ready to assist in the healing process.

3. Aurora Behavioral Healthcare

Aurora Behavioral Healthcare is a leading private behavioral healthcare hospital situated in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area of Rancho Bernardo in North San Diego County. 

With a capacity of 101 beds, Aurora is committed to delivering evidence-based, outcome-driven care to its patients.

They offer a comprehensive range of services to people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. 

Their services encompass inpatient programs, outpatient programs (intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization), chemical dependency services, and dual diagnosis programs. 

Additionally, Aurora provides specialized treatment services for United States Military Active Duty Service Members and their families worldwide. 

Recognizing the diverse needs of individuals, Aurora offers individualized treatment programs tailored to various conditions. 

Aurora’s facility is covered by Medicare for adults and seniors, and MediCal covers services for those aged 20 and under, as well as 65 and older.

4. Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital

At Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, patients and their loved ones facing mental health challenges find compassionate support available around the clock. 

The hospital’s philosophy centers on empowering individuals throughout their care journey, with a team of experts dedicated to unlocking each patient’s potential. 

They offer specialized services for adults, children, and adolescents, encompassing cognitive behavioral therapy, dual recovery treatment, and eating disorder care. 

Their substance use treatment programs are innovative and tailored to all age groups, boasting a history of successful outcomes. 

Beyond these, they provide specialized care for older adults, transitional age youth, and those dealing with trauma and PTSD. 

For moments of quiet reflection and meditation, patients can visit the serene Don Allen Garden situated in the hospital’s main courtyard. 

Additionally, dedicated recovery and play areas are available for families, fostering a supportive environment. 

Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital prioritizes the mental well-being of every individual, offering resources and unwavering support to guide patients and families through their healing journey.

5. Alter Behavioral Health

Alter Behavioral Health Hospital holds accreditation from the Joint Commission and is licensed by the Department of Healthcare Services in California and the Department of Social Services. 

The hospital provides a comprehensive range of mental health treatment services to meet the diverse needs of individuals seeking care. 

The admission process consists of a two-step approach. Initially, a representative collects basic demographic information and conducts a brief pre-screening assessment. 

Subsequently, the clinical team reviews the assessment to determine if Alter Behavioral Health is the most suitable option to address the individual’s specific needs. 

The hospital offers residential mental health treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient program, crisis stabilization units, as well as substance misuse disorder treatment. 

Additionally, they provide comprehensive services such as medication management, recovery and safety planning, referral for ongoing services, and family and community support. 

Alter Behavioral Health specializes in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, disrupted sleep, bipolar disorder, psychosis, suicide ideation, borderline personality disorder, and ADHD.

The treatment modalities employed at the hospital include CBT, DBT, solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, as well as psychoeducational and process groups. 

Moreover, Alter Behavioral Health offers financial assistance to ensure that individuals have access to the care they need.

6. Jackson House San Diego

With compassionate, around-the-clock care, Jackson House aims to improve the quality of life of those experiencing a mental health crisis or unrelenting mental illness. 

Jackson House provides treatment for various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions. 

They equip individuals with the necessary tools to manage their illnesses, offering three distinct programs to support individuals’ mental health and addiction treatment needs.

They offer residential treatment for individuals struggling with substance use disorders, providing evidence-based treatment to break the cycle of addiction and initiate recovery. 

Jackson House also offers programs such as supportive housing, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment to facilitate clients’ transition back into daily life. 

They emphasize that the mental health journey continues even after leaving Jackson House, providing ongoing tools and support for long-term stability and sustained recovery. 

Jackson House San Diego accepts various in-network insurance plans, ensuring accessibility to their services for a wide range of individuals seeking mental health and addiction treatment.

7. Crestwood Behavioral Health Center

Crestwood Behavioral Health Center, located in San Diego, is an accredited facility recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

The center is comprised of the Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) and Hummingbird Healing House, a Social Rehabilitation Program that offers transitional residential treatment.

With a focus on providing a continuum of care, Crestwood offers innovative programs based on their commitment to mental health clients’ recovery. 

Clients participate in evidence-based therapies that aim to reduce symptoms, enhance personal responsibility, and improve quality of life. 

The center also offers a diverse range of classes and encourages active participation in treatment planning. 

Crestwood’s mission is to provide an alternative to traditional psychiatric care by fostering collaboration, empowerment, and a healing environment. 

They seek to restore hope, self-empowerment, and the realization of potential in each client while promoting stabilization and recovery. 

The center supports clients with a wide range of wellness tools, staff support, and a focus on community reintegration and dual recovery. 

Hummingbird Healing House offers a transitional residential treatment program and a Full-Service Provider (FSP) team that helps clients develop independent living skills and achieve stabilization. 

The goal is to discharge clients to independent living or supported housing within six to nine months, supported by the FSP team’s continuum of care and community-based services. 

The program emphasizes skill development, gradual reduction of support, and access to employment services through the Department of Rehabilitation.

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

  1. Top 8 Mental Health Hospitals in Raleigh NC
  2. Top 8 Mental Health Hospitals in Baton Rouge
  3. Best 8 Mental Health Hospitals in Louisville KY

Top Mental Health Professionals in San Diego, CA


San Diego has some of the most highly skilled and dedicated mental health professionals in the state, renowned for their expertise in providing exceptional care to patients. 

Some of them are mentioned below.

1. Dr. Mark Chofla

Dr. Mark Chofla is a board-certified psychiatrist and physician who completed his residency training at the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center. 

With a medical degree from Midwestern University: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Chofla brings over 26 years of counseling experience to his practice. 

Passionate about utilizing technological advances to reach all California communities, he founded Empathy Therapy, providing statewide telehealth psychiatric treatment and counseling. 

Dr. Chofla offers respectful psychotherapy with empathy alongside careful medication management. To book an appointment, contact him at (619) 612-5816.

2. Oscar Castillo

Oscar Castillo is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) dedicated to providing compassionate care to individuals of all ages in Southern California. 

Specializing in ADHD, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and PTSD, Oscar supports the LGBTQ+ community and undocumented individuals. 

His holistic, patient-centered approach focuses on understanding unique experiences and needs, creating a safe and supportive environment for clients to feel heard and empowered. 

Through personalized strategies, Oscar aims to address immediate concerns and promote long-term well-being. Contact him for a free 15-minute consultation at (619) 773-0238.

3. Dr. Dave Auluck

Dr. Dave Auluck is a psychiatrist with over a decade of experience in the field, committed to improving the mental health treatment experience of his patients. 

Dr. Auluck understands the importance of personalized care and takes his time to understand each patient’s symptoms and concerns, tailoring treatment plans to align with their preferences. 

Specializing in cognitive issues related to ADHD, anxiety, brain fog, depression, OCD, and PTSD, Dr. Auluck strives to provide accessible and affordable preeminent care. 

Invest in yourself and improve your life by contacting Dr. Dave Auluck at (619) 329-4608 for queries and appointments.

4. Megan R Fenyoe

Megan R Fenyoe is a clinical social worker with over 15 years of experience in the field. 

Working with individuals, families, and adolescents, Megan specializes in substance abuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, communication, and relational distress. 

She offers a safe and respectful space for clients to explore their unique stories, gain insight, and feel empowered. 

Megan’s approach focuses on building confidence, finding clarity, inspiring action, and empowering clients to believe in their worth. 

Contact her for a free 15-minute consultation at (616) 545-8331.

5. Courtney Giboi

Courtney Giboi is a psychologist with diverse experience across international, educational, and clinical settings. 

Her specialties encompass trauma, international adjustment, identity, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. 

Courtney emphasizes the significance of processing and deriving meaning from experiences for healing and growth. 

She offers a secure and open environment for dialogue, collaborating to devise customized treatment plans. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Courtney at (858) 289-6234.

6. Kirsten Manalo 

Kirsten Manalo is a dedicated psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner with 8 years of nursing background. She focuses on treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD. 

Kirsten’s holistic approach considers various factors impacting mental health, including emotional, psychological, and sociocultural aspects. 

She values patient-centered care, offering personalized diagnoses, medication psychoeducation, and tailored recommendations. Connect with Kirsten at (858) 522-0145.

7. Dr. Cara Niemeier

Dr. Cara Niemeier, with 12 years of expertise as a Board Certified Psychiatrist, employs a holistic, evidence-based approach, prioritizing sustainable medication use in her practice. 

Specializing in medication management, trauma, and PTSD, along with depression, she emphasizes comprehensive care that encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

Her clinic specifically avoids the use of benzodiazepines and stimulant medications. For appointments, reach out at (619) 268-8439.

Types of Mental Health Treatments Provided in San Diego, CA

San Diego offers a diverse range of mental health treatments, from inpatient care to outpatient therapies, catering to the diverse needs of individuals struggling with mental health issues.

Specialized programs for specific mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction, are also available in San Diego. 

These programs offer targeted therapy and support to help individuals overcome their unique challenges. 

Creative therapies, such as art or music therapy, are also offered in some facilities, providing a unique and innovative approach to mental health treatment.

In addition to traditional therapies, some facilities in San Diego offer innovative therapies like ketamine or ECT. 

These therapies have shown promise in treating severe mental health issues, such as treatment-resistant depression.

Substance abuse treatment is another important aspect of mental health care in San Diego. 

Many facilities offer programs that address both mental health and substance abuse issues, providing a comprehensive approach to treatment.

A range of support groups and resources for patients and their families are also available in San Diego. 

These support groups provide a safe environment where individuals can share their experiences, receive support, and connect with others who are going through similar challenges.

Benefits of Treating Mental Health Treatments in San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA, offers numerous benefits for individuals seeking mental health treatment. 

With a variety of facilities and hospitals available, patients can access a range of services tailored to their specific needs. 

Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or other mental health issues, there are treatment options available to help you achieve mental wellness.

One of the significant advantages of seeking mental health treatment in San Diego is the availability of various levels of care. 

Inpatient, partial hospitalization, outpatient, and intensive outpatient programs are all available to meet the unique needs of each patient. 

In addition to the range of treatment options, San Diego also offers cost-friendly solutions. Many providers accept insurance, making mental health care more accessible and affordable. 

Moreover, some facilities offer sliding scale fees or other financial assistance programs, ensuring that everyone can receive the help they need.

Another benefit of seeking mental health treatment in San Diego is the availability of both in-person and online therapy options. 

This means that patients can choose the format that works best for them, whether it’s traditional face-to-face therapy or the convenience of online sessions. 

Furthermore, there are specialized facilities for children’s and adolescents’ mental health, providing a safe and supportive environment for young people to address their mental health concerns.

San Diego is also home to a diverse range of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and nurses.

This means that patients can find a provider who suits their specific needs and preferences.

Perhaps most importantly, San Diego mental health professionals are committed to providing judgment-free care. 

Patients can feel safe and supported as they work through their mental health challenges, without fear of stigma or discrimination.


1. What is the difference between mental and psychiatric hospitals?

Mental hospitals typically focus on treating a range of mental health conditions, while psychiatric hospitals specialize in treating severe psychiatric disorders requiring intensive care and monitoring.

2. What are some free mental health services in San Diego?

The San Diego Access and Crisis Line (1-888-724-7240) provides confidential and complimentary counseling as well as community resources to assist with your mental health needs. 
This service is accessible around the clock, seven days a week, and offers support in various languages.

3. What to do if someone is mentally unstable and won’t get help?

If someone is mentally unstable and unwilling to seek help, encourage them gently to consult with a mental health professional. 
If they pose an immediate danger to themselves or others, seek emergency assistance or contact a crisis hotline for guidance on handling the situation safely.

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